No discussion at the three-way intersection of our polarized society, our use of news and our faith-based values that can help renew healthy communication will bear fruit without the kinds of insights Bruce Stirewalt recently presented on Book TV.
Stirewalt, digital politics editor at Fox News and author of Every Man a King: A Short, Colorful History of American Populists, served up some important thoughts at the Savannah Book Festival. The most valuable thoughts for the discussion mentioned above come from his answer to the last question, found at the 56:00 mark in the Book TV video.
These are comments that illuminate our exploration of toxins at work in politics and journalism today. They are comments about the human being and about culture.
They speak for themselves, so I present several of them here—perhaps out of order, but definitely “what the doctor ordered” regarding culture-healing priorities to be prized by Catholics and all people of good will:
- “We are a soul-sick, broken-hearted country.”
- “The object of every heart is to be truly known and truly loved.” As we cry out for unconditional love, our insecurities and anxieties prompt us to lash out at each other rather than reach out with compassion.
- “We’ve replaced more precious, more valuable, more meaningful things with the shoddy work of politics.”
- “That soul-sickness will never be fixed by politics.”
- “Politics is what lets us do the right thing. It’s not the right thing or the point of anything.” –attributed to the late Charles Krauthammer
- “Our broken culture is the headwaters of our broken politics.”
- “We need strong social capital to create a culture.”
(video from Book TV, promotional photo from Fox News)