American democracy is now in danger-not from any one set of ideas, but from unprecedented changes in the environment within which ideas either live and spread, or wither and die. I do not mean the physical environment; I mean what is called the public sphere, or the marketplace of ideas.
It is simply no longer possible to ignore the strangeness of our public discourse. I know I am not alone in feeling that something has gone fundamentally wrong. In 2001, I had hoped it was an aberration when polls showed that three-quarters of Americans believed that Saddam Hussein was responsible for attacking us on Sept. 11. More than five years later, however, nearly half of the American public still believes Saddam was connected to the attack.
While Al Gore is still not committing to whether or not he will toss his hat in the presidential ring (he says "he's fallen out of love with politics"), Smoking Politics guarantees he will be attacked next week --for daring to say the truth about how dishonest political discourse has become.
(thanks to Nicole for her assistance)