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  What Book Are You Currently Reading? (search mode)
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Author Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading?  (Read 336449 times)
Marokai Backbeat
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Political Matrix
E: -7.42, S: -7.39


« on: October 11, 2011, 09:18:06 pm »
« edited: October 12, 2011, 12:27:09 am by Marokai Breakneck »

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Rereading this again since the first time I read it when I was just 14, I'm a bit embarrassed to admit it was the first book related to politics that I read in it's entirety, but looking back on it so many years later, I'm frightened by now much I feel like the foundation of my attitude on politics was formed by this book, as well as Truth (With Jokes) that I read a year later.

Yes, blah blah, it's Al Franken, but throughout the entire book, Franken places a very serious importance on telling the truth, on basing your arguments in fact, and responding to untruths with empirical truth. It's a very very simple concept, but it's also a very important one that our politics, especially in the last decade+ has forgotten. Politics is serious, and it matters a whole lot, and it shouldn't be treated like a game. The issues we debate are serious, and if we deserve anything, it's that the issues should be debated genuinely and honestly in good faith.

I very very strongly believe that. And it's the foundation for almost everything else that I believe in.

Near the end of the book, Franken writes this, which I think is the take-away from the book, even though it focuses on right-wing figures or particular lies from the Bush Administration:

Quote
How do we get it back? We have to fight. But we can't fight like they do. People say that Rush, and Fox, and their ilk are entertaining. And if you can stomach that sort of stuff, I suppose they are. But a part of their entertainment value comes from their willingness to lie and distort. They fight with lies.

We can't do that. We have to fight them with the truth. Our added entertainment value will have to come from being funny and attractive. And passionate. And idealistic. But also, smart.

He's right. It only depresses me that, since writing this book 7 years ago-ish, the other side has only gone further down the rabbit hole. One side of American politics earnestly wants to govern and treat politics as a system for doing good. The other side, does not. And they do not value empirical truth the way that we do.

Those who treat politics and elections as a game are not serious people. And they should not be treated as serious people. That's essentially the message of the book. Don't lie about stuff that matters, and if someone does, go after them with everything you've got.
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Marokai Backbeat
Marokai Blue
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 17,495
United States


Political Matrix
E: -7.42, S: -7.39


« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2012, 11:06:39 pm »

You have to be a "radical."
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