The Great American Novelist Who Warned Us About Donald Trump, Fox News and the Rise of the Idiocracy | Alternet

Posted: October 30, 2015 in American Politics, Art, Culture, Democracy, Religion, Secularism

With a new biography out and a recent documentary still making waves, it’s time to consider Gore Vidal’s legacy.

Vidal was fond of quoting Benjamin Franklin, who after the passage of the United States Constitution remarked “A republic; if you can keep it.” It is easy to criticize the military-industrial complex, self-serving politicians, religious bullies, and mediocre journalists more adept at propaganda than reportage, but Vidal showed true courage and despair when he wrote with the realization that the people are part of the problem. Unlike Chomsky and Zinn, and more like Buchanan and Kauffman, he lost confidence that the American people were just enough information away from wrestling the country out of the arms of the elite and reclaiming the Republic.

In one of his final essays from 2006, Vidal wrote that America had “entered the Dark Ages.” “What we are seeing,” he explained, “are the obvious characteristics of the West after the fall of Rome: the triumph of religion over reason; the atrophy of education and critical thinking; the integration of religion, the state, and the apparatus of torture—a troika that was for Voltaire the central horror of the pre-Enlightenment world; as well as, today, the political and economic marginalization of our culture.”

Source: The Great American Novelist Who Warned Us About Donald Trump, Fox News and the Rise of the Idiocracy | Alternet

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