A re-issue of a post from March 2010.
American pluralism is where being American now means the people have lithified, where they have become a monolith of the most massive proportions. Pluralism here is a brand of politics seriously devoted to praying before the icons of our mass media, in imitatio de stelle. And we do look to our media icons to pray to devotionally; what then is TV than pseudo-live-motion saints, chapels in a box with an aerial tuner.
There is a ritual life in our entertainment world aligned secularly, one we gratefully participate in. True enough, for sure; but then there is often nothing more difficult to see than the truth. The media president is no different in this way; he has been one thing every four years–perhaps we believe she will differ?
President Obama is as much a media president as any other, if not more so than any other, including Reagan. But what about the media man and the media woman, the media American; the media person complete with media personhood, a media sense of self, a media informed sense of duty of obligation of freedom of liberty of pedagogy of voting behavior of ethical conduct et cetera . . . television has been ruling our minds, almost as near to how people feared the medium in the fifties . . . we do take too many history and political lessons from Hollywood, as heinously complicit in the degradation of the American people as a public as any media institution. Flip the coin of greed and manipulation and see the faces and tails of Hollywood and Wall Street; other denominational coins will reveal the White House, Capitol Hill, Major League Sports, Oil, and so on.
TV evangelists have always bugged the American liberal establishment because the former are simply more overt forms of what the latter is politcally, secularly. Obama is none other than a new Billy Graham of the contemporary secular liberal establishment. True enough, we might know if . . . ; enough truth, though, we wonder in exactly that way doubt has become wisdom.