Peggy Noonan talks about bed time stories in the Wall Street Journal opinion videos.
...it is your responsibility to fake it because children are watching.Tell me more Auntie Peggy. What happens when we little ones learn the truth? Will bad things happen?
Noonan: When congressmen are aligning themselves with the promotion of [House of Cards] that tells the American people that Washington is irredeemably dark nihilistic selfish. They will never help you. They will only help themselves.Thank you Auntie Peggy. I was taking notes. Politicians must maintain the necessary illusions of "children" or they start to question the motives of politicians. You should say this more often because the media do have a responsibility to lie about Washington. Of course this means that us children have a responsibility too.
Kissel: Hasn't Washington always been that way? Is this really a surprise?
Noonan: What good does it do for American office holders to look at America and say "this is what it is" now let me rub your face in it? We no longer try to hide it. A part of your responsibility when you are a leader in politics in media in business is to try to be a good person, maintain a certain decorum or internal stature. If you can not do it, it is your responsibility to fake it. Why? Because children are watching. They need something to reach at. Something to be a little dreamy about. Something... I don't mind when people become cynical after a certain age but you have to earn your cynicism. You should not enter life at the age of eighteen as a cynic and be surrounded by a media that says everything is dark, hopeless and humans are awful. So, you go through life with that attitude.
Host: But Peggy maybe the politicians are reflecting what they see in the broader society, that it's impossible to hide what Washington is really like from anyone, from adults, from kids. They have access to social media, newspapers online, TV everywhere. Aren't they simply telling it as it is?
Noonan: Why don't you just try to be a good person.
The people who drive cars, repair plumbing, sort mail, and handle luggage must try to do it with integrity, but that is not the important part. It doesn't matter if we steal your credit card numbers or swap your diamonds for glass. If we can't be honest, we have to fake it too. What's important is that we smile, dress sharp, and have a firm handshake. We have a responsibility to fake that we are trustworthy whenever the adults are watching. We have to act like there is a social contract even if we are actually picking your pocket. Presentation is everything.
So, next time tell us more about how Character was King.