From the first Morning Jolt of the week:
Our Political Inmates Run the Asylum, So Normal People Tune Out
We political geeks roll our eyes and shake our heads at the low-information voters, but perhaps being a low-information voter – or, in the case of the self-identified Iowa caucus-goer who insisted he caucused for “Johnson, from Iowa,” meaning Tim Pawlenty, who dropped out six months before the caucuses – is a rational, reasonable choice.
In the political world, we spend a lot of time trying to convince insane people to not be insane, or at the very least, pointing out to extremely inconsistent thinkers that they’re being inconsistent.
For example, we’ve been told for seven years that most criticism of President Obama is beyond the pale of acceptable discourse, that it is rooted in hatred, and that it is representative of a malevolent intolerance deep in the hearts of his critics.
And then the Iranian leader tweets out this:
US president has said he could knock out Iran’s military. We welcome no war, nor do we initiate any war, but.. pic.twitter.com/D4Co7fVuVg
— Khamenei.ir (@khamenei_ir) July 25, 2015
And everybody who supports the President’s Iran deal acts like it’s no big deal.
Screw you, Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei. I don’t even like Obama, and that image offends me, because he’s the American president. But everybody who claims to support the president averts their eyes.
Now, I would argue that the Supreme Leader of Iran sending out this image is an indicator of bad faith. They’re not behaving as if they want to earn our trust, earn our respect, or assure us not to see them as a major threat. They continue to chant “death to America”, even after the alleged deal:
In an address at a Tehran mosque punctuated by chants of “Death to America” and “Death to Israel”, the hardliner said the deal was only about nuclear issues, pledging: “We won’t let foreigners interfere with our affairs.”
“American interests and politics in the region are 180 degrees different to ours,” he said in the televised speech, four days after the Vienna accord in which crippling sanctions against Iran would gradually be lifted in exchange for long-term nuclear curbs.
“Whether the deal is approved or disapproved, we will never stop supporting our friends in the region and the people of Palestine, Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Bahrain and Lebanon. Even after this deal our policy toward the arrogant U.S. will not change,” he said.
Someone will inevitably argue, “this sort of rhetoric is just for domestic political consumption.” Except the Tweet is in English, and sent out on the international medium of Twitter. They want us to see this. They want us to know this is what they think.
(By the way, why does the average Iranian get this sort of incendiary rhetoric to placate his anger and pride, but there’s no rhetoric from our officials, to the families of the Americans unjustly imprisoned by Iran, or the families killed by past Iranian aggression and sponsorship of terrorists, or Iran’s assistance to anti-American forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, or the families of the U.S. soldiers killed by Iranian-sponsored terror attack on Khobar Towers?)
To be an MSNBC-watching loyal Obama supporter, you have to still be fuming about signs at Tea Party rallies that appear to threaten the president, but not the least bit upset about this sort of image from Iran. A rodeo clown wearing an Obama mask is some sort of national outrage and symbol of racial hatred, but it’s not a big deal for Iran to hang President Obama in effigy.
It’s crazy leaps in logic that a lot of Americans find incomprehensible, so they tune out the political news. Life is full of much more fulfilling passions. It’s not surprising that people tune out Washington’s cacophony and turn their attentions to good food, making money on the side from indulging their creative passions, fantasy sports, extreme fitness and adventure races, and building cool stuff. It’s hard to begrudge them their disinterest in the insanity of our political elites – but it’s even harder to imagine the circumstances getting better so long as so many people choose to tune out.