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Technology & Innovation

Is Political Comment out of Control?

Digital communication, such as via Tweets, worsens the unhealthy popularity of curt, rapid opinions. Is comment, like a strangler-fig, getting stronger than the politics on which it feeds?

What’s the Latest Development?

Julian Glover argues that outrage is the necessary stuff of politics. Democracy demands permanent agitation. Yet commentary–and opposition–requires that those involved push strong and absolute opinions. Uncertainty comes over as weakness. Tribalism thrives. “It is, perversely, sometimes feeble to sound bold and bold to sound feeble.”

What’s the Big Idea

Digital forms of communication such as Twitter only exacerbate the unhealthy shift to expressing curt, rapid opinions, says Glover. “I fear comment, like a strangler-fig, is getting stronger than the politics on which it feeds. That is the way things have gone in America and it is not a happy sight.”


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