Friday, September 28, 2007

Hyperbole and democratic politics 

The wire service photograph feeds on Yahoo are an endless source of profoundly unflattering pictures of presidential candidates. This one, for example, ought to become an instant classic among bloggers who, like me, love to mock John Edwards.

That said, I am not going to mock John Edwards for having said what he said about the condition of young black men in our society.

We cannot build enough prisons to solve this problem. And the idea that we can keep incarcerating and keep incarcerating — pretty soon we’re not going to have a young African-American male population in America. They’re all going to be in prison or dead. One of the two.

Yes, it is hyperbole -- obviously -- and I am quite certain that I would not agree with Edwards' prescription for changing the result. But Edwards wants to grab us by our neck and make us pay attention to a serious problem that is easier to deny than solve. The proportion of African-American men in the criminal justice system is surely such a problem, being both serious and easy for most actual voters to ignore, deny, or rationalize. Perhaps hyperbole in the service of advocacy is necessary to drive democratic political change in such circumstances.

All of which reminds me: What other serious problem is easier to deny than solve? The threat of Islamist jihad.


By Blogger Chris, at Fri Sep 28, 10:55:00 PM:

Social Security. Earmarks. Can I get an amen?  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Sep 29, 01:57:00 AM:

Illegal immigration  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Sep 29, 01:50:00 PM:

Pretty soon, all White personal injury lawyers will be bankrupt or in politics.  

By Blogger Georg Felis, at Mon Oct 01, 01:26:00 PM:

Deer meet headlights. Headlight, deer.  

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