To show you how out of touch I am with the news cycle, it wasn’t until I was driving home from Mississippi yesterday afternoon that it hit me: there’s a national election next week. One of the greatest blessings of not having cable in your house is that you are spared campaign commercials during election season.
Of course, once I bothered to check, I found that the news feeds I subscribe to are full of election commentary. Most of it is predictable stuff, demonizing the other side. Occasionally, though, someone comes up with something clever. I am not a fan of Charles Krauthammer–after twenty years I’ve realized he’ll back anyone who is willing to blow up Arabs on Israel’s behalf–but I have to admit this piece, “Obama Underappreciation Syndrome,” is pretty good. I like it because I deplore the phenomenon of supporters of one party attempting to diagnose supporters of another party with psychological disorders. This practice dates back at least to the publication of Theodor Adorno’s awful The Authoritarian Personality in 1950. It’s really just an intellectual cop-out, a way to dismiss your opponents’ arguments without feeling as though you need to expend the mental effort to understand or refute them. I say: Down with sloth!