Our daughter “me” just drew my attention to another geriatric blogger. In fact, Donald P. Irish is almost twenty years my senior. Makes me feel very junior. I was totally taken by his recent post Why Is There Terrorism? Part Three, a very powerful and profound analysis of one of the most acute threats to civilisation as we know it.
Professor Irish argues very convincingly what I have felt all along but was unable to formulate so elegantly. OK, so I agree with him, or maybe, he with me. Is that the end of it? The post isn’t easy fare. Apart from the suboptimal visual layout, the sentences tend to be complex. They deal with abstract ideas, and much of his supportive evidence is not part of the common man’s experience nor education. His prose, while elegant, is far beyond grade six reading level. In short, he talks like one academic to another.
But is this enough? He doesn’t have to convince me – I already am. To have real impact, political impact, historical impact, he has to convince people of Sarah Palin’s ilk. He has to talk to the mass of Tea Party members. He must get John Boehner to listen up and say “Yeah, halleluja”. But few of us have been educated in classical rethoric. Cicero could do it and so could George Washington. Unfortunately, rethoric hasn’t been taught in our school system for the past 100 years.
But there is one profession trained to talk to Joe Bloe, Mr. and Ms Middle America and even to Sarah Palin – journalists! When they aren’t satisfied with feeding the plebs pulpy pablum, they can really capture people’s attention. There must be enough serious and eloquent journalists out there, who can give Donald Irish’s powerful ideas a powerful voice! Where are they?
To paraphrase Donald Irish: what we need is more mirrors and fewer gun sights!