The Level of Political Discourse in Mass-Media

The past was supposed to be better than today. I’m a conservative, aren’t I?

Did you know that people in America used to memorize poems and read stuff longer than a blog post? Did you know there was a day when kids’ brains weren’t full of Hannah Montana—or Eminem, for that matter? I always assumed these factors would create a higher level of discourse in the nation. But, if anything, political ads in 1952 were worse than today. Click that link for a fascinating site.

Mark Ward

PhD in NT; theological writer for Faithlife; former high school Bible textbook author for BJU Press; husband; father; ultimate frisbee player; member of the body of Christ.


  1. EricSundt on November 14, 2008 at 4:26 pm

    Interesting post. However, I must disagree on your proposition here (I confess I didn’t watch *all* of the commercials).

    What has improved is the level of technological/marketing expertise, neither of which comes from the general intelligence level of society.

    What is missing now is what was present in those Eisenhower commercials – a personal appeal to vote for me and bandwagon to me, instead of a bashing campaign against the other side. On this point, I argue that you really were correct before – society has gotten worse in that we don’t make attempts to promote ourselves, but rather to insult the other guy (easier, and more mindless).

    Anyway, that’s just my thoughts on the issue – and campaigning in general. To all politicians: tell me why you’re better, not why the other guy stinks.


  2. Mark L Ward Jr on November 14, 2008 at 5:09 pm

    Good points, Eric.

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