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Post-democracy’s no-nonsense purveyors of hard political truths

I thought this was an interesting suggestion, from This Town by Mark Leibovich, concerning the tendency of a mendacious and stage-managed political culture to give rise to ‘straight talkers’. From pg 324-325:

The unquestioned Big Man on Campus in Tampa, at least for the first part of GOP-looza, was Chris Christie, the rotund Republican governor of New Jersey. Romney awarded the coveted keynote speaker’s slot to Christie, who had acquired (thanks largely to YouTube) a reputation for colorfully beating down the hecklers, reporters, and teachers’ union types who annoyed him. These tantrums had become as basic to the Christie persona as perma-tan was to Snooki’s. (Angering Christie, David Letterman said, was “like crossing a rhino.”) They also imprinted Christie with the reputation of a no-nonsense purveyor of hard political truths and granted him a status as the cathartic id of impatient conservatism and counterbalance to the superego Romney. 

Likewise, the press had granted Christie one of those coveted political badges of being “someone who tells it like it is,” who “gives it to you straight,” and all that. They come along periodically—Ross Perot wore it in the early nineties, John McCain during his “straight-talk express” days. Smitten observers reliably treat them with a holy-shit reverence befitting their stature as the first person in political history who actually tells the truth. And just as reliably, their acts wear thin.

Categories: Digital Elections, Party Politics and Diplomacy Post-Democracy, Depoliticisation and Technocracy

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