President Obama’s State of the Union speech attempted to make sense of populist anger and resentment — toward big business. toward government and toward big media.
Here’s the key passage:
“Unfortunately, too many of our citizens have lost faith that our biggest institutions -– our corporations, our media, and, yes, our government –- still reflect these same values. Each of these institutions are full of honorable men and women doing important work that helps our country prosper. But each time a CEO rewards himself for failure, or a banker puts the rest of us at risk for his own selfish gain, people’s doubts grow. Each time lobbyists game the system or politicians tear each other down instead of lifting this country up, we lose faith. The more that TV pundits reduce serious debates to silly arguments, big issues into sound bites, our citizens turn away.
“No wonder there’s so much cynicism out there. No wonder there’s so much disappointment.”
We’ll see how it all plays out over the next 24 hours, but there’s already a great deal of attention paid to once incident, Samuel Alito’s reaction as Obama predicted that the Supreme Court decision on campaign finance would “open the floodgates” to corporate influence in elections. Is that a “serious debate” or a “silly argument”?