I record Fareed Zakaria GPS every Sunday morning on CNN religiously. Well, I don’t complete the mechanics involved personally; I have people for that. OK, my 11 year old does it, but she is gradually teaching me how to use my DVR. Granted, last week’s lesson went poorly, but she did teach me the proper acronym, DVR (apparently, it’s not a VCR or a DVD, it’s some type of alien hybrid).
This week Zakaria cemented my opinion of him. He is an integralist. He’s smart, savvy, and can see all perspectives with a stunning clarity (aka, he has no business being on cable television). He is a second tier thinker, which of course will inflame the sensibilities of the senseless (aka, the Sean Hannitys of the world). I don’t know if Fareed reads Ken Wilber, or even buys into my Spiral Dynamics perspective, regardless, I have a new journalistic BFF.
Zarkaria enraged everyone recently with an article in Newsweek, wherein he spelled out what was done right and what was done wrong on the War on Terror. He was able to succinctly list what Bush nailed and where Bush failed (aka, he pissed off everyone, man after my own blog).
This week he started his show (GPS) by saying, “We are so polarized we cannot even have a rational discussion on anything anymore.”
Bingo! Welcome to my virtual world. It’s easy to find an argument between fundamentalism (blue), entrepreneurial/scientific (orange), and liberalism (green). But if you want to see an integralist (turquoise) referee this three ring circus, check out Fareed.
During his show, it becomes easy to identify these various perspectives and see precisely when these various perspectives slip off the cliffs of insanity. Last week, he orchestrated a debate between four individuals on the War on Terror, but only Zakaria made any sense whatsoever.
The Weekly Standard guy (the neocon) could not see where the psychology of fear is working against U.S. interests, or how in many ways we overreacted after 9/11. Uh, invading the wrong country, destroying the Bill of Ri…never mind. It’s not going to sink in anyway. Fear and anxiety stokes Fox and Friends. They will never get off fear or fossil fuels (the three Fs); it’s their life’s blood. Anyway, the guy mumbled something about how our response to 9/11 was, indeed, proportionate and he couldn’t really think of an example where we might have overdone it. Wow. And here I thought Republicans were against rampant marijuana use. I need to party more at The Weekly Standard. Hydroponics, baby!
Next up, Fareed’s liberal guest proceeded to say the threat from Al-Qaeda and terrorism is “virtually non-existent.” The guy really said that. In an age when Iran is about to have nukes? In an age when one suitcase in Times Square and it’s goodbye Big Apple, hello charred core? Non-existent? Really? Do you know how hard it is to sound dumber than a neocon? You just managed.
Now, if you listened to Zakaria’s account of the pros and cons of the War on Terror, it was dead on. He accurately listed where we did well and where we erred. After praising Bush for a few items, he discussed where we clearly overreacted to 9/11 and listed those consequences.
This prompted Sean Hannity over on Fox to respond thusly, “How does someone that dumb get a show?”
Yes, arguably the least insightful TV host just razzed someone arguably the most insightful. Isn’t it Alanis, don’t you think?
When I say most of America can be wrong on certain issues, more accurately, they only see part of the issue—the part that resonates with their ideology/level/meme (whatever you want to call it, but Spiral Dynamics color codes it for your enjoyment). Each of these levels has an inherent blind spot the size of our deficit. 80% live in these extreme lands. Most seem quite happy there. It’s a medicated happy, but happy nevertheless.
My own blog-versary, The Crank, believes most people are actually in the center of most issues. I don’t. Conversations in my personal life either follow the MSNBC/liberal track, or the Fox/neocon track. Everyone is, for the most part, following these two playbooks way too closely. Objective thinkers are becoming increasingly rare. Even most Discord contributors are following one playbook or another. Our own constitutional scholar here at the Discord, Rick Pernick, will not mention the six to five ruling last week over at the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which deems all of Bush’s crimes “state secrets” not subject to investigation.
Why isn’t this news for the founding father/Constitutionalists out there? Pernick seems to have an endless supply of well-researched and well-cited posts (at least on any given Fox-approved-topic). This decision last week solidified executive power more than any other court decision in modern history. Hey, let’s start a Tea Party! The Star Chamber power the executive branch now wields in this country is virtually untouchable. Today, we live in a very different country. Let’s call it a banana republic. Meanwhile, Mr. Pernick and the Cranks of the world keep championing only those issues important to the five rich guys in our nation. The same five guys who plan to become even richer on our own country’s shortsightedness.
Here’s why I pick on our friends over at the Tea Party rally. For an equation only a Foxeteer could love (or understand), try this one on for size:
Fox News 2008: Ron Paul is an idiot
The Tea Party 2009: Ron Paul is a God
Fox News and the Tea Party 2010: If only people had listened to us about Ron Paul back in 08’
Only Glenn Beck, a chalkboard, and a pitcher of mojitos can make sense of that one. You know who said Ron Paul actually had some good points in 08’? A soon to be Tea Party keynote speaker, perhaps? Some Crank somewhere? No….MICK ZANO! That’s who. I’m starting my own Tea Party of one, and none of you are invited! And, yeah Mrs. O’Donnell, you better keep the door shut, I’ll be masturbating.
Still not convinced both sides are off the mark? On one hand, Republicans want all the services, all the tax cuts, and a reduced deficit. Yes, they’re our special politicians. Meanwhile, they are the best at growing governments, deficits, and tyranny. And they do it to the cheers of their bat shit base, who supposedly stand for the exact opposite (figure that one out). On the other hand, liberals can’t see where borrowing trillions and creating tiers of senseless government bureaucracies can be counterproductive to our fiscal futures.
But here’s the depressing thing, 80% of you read and comprehended only one of those last two points. How many people really understand why both parties are wrong for America? You might say 20%. If so, you would be wrong. The last 20% are probably doing something they’re afraid, if elected, Christine O’Donnell will soon make illegal.
Drop the Kleenex. And get off the babysitter!
I think if our leaders don’t embrace integral thought soon, it’s all over. And I’m afraid Obama has proven to be more of a liberal than an integralist, but not for the reasons espoused daily over on Fox News (hint: that’s mostly bullshit). Here’s the problem. He has his moments, but Obama is far too pluralistic most days to stand up for what’s right. The mosque debate is just the latest example. It’s OK to be the only adult in the room. Really Mr. President, it’s OK. Pluralism has its place, if used as directed, but if abused…
Where I often say nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong, a liberal pluralist would say everybody’s right and nobody’s wrong. That’s wonderful. It’s all about not hurting anyone’s feelings. Sure…you can all give yourselves trophies—trophies made of sticks and mud when this place becomes the next Bangla-fucking-desh.
Depressing, isn’t it. Luckily, we have someone like Fareed on the scene now. He’s going to move folks in the right direction. Zakaria’s thoughtfulness and style may resonate with more and more people in the same way that my posts don’t—but, hey, read my stuff anyway. It keeps me off the streets, which is a good thing. Mr. Z is going to need our support over on CNN. Making sense out there these days will create a tremendous backlash from the talking heads, left and right. Hang in there, pal. Be the rider on the storm, the Lizard King, and whatever other Doors reference floats your boat. Watch him America, watch him and learn. Like any good medicine, it might taste bad going down, but a bunch of it and you can catch a good buzz! Now if you’ll excuse me, just one more time before it’s illegal.
Zakaria and Zano 2012. Just to egg on those Mayan Gods.