From Pine View Farm

Der Spiegel Slices a Potato and Finds the End of an Empire 0

Der Spiegel analyzes the fight in Congress of serving fat pills fried potatoes in various forms to school children and finds unexpected metaphors. A nugget:

Since the eruption of the financial crisis, paranoia has taken hold in American politics. Americans’ faith in institutions has been shaken. The government has become the adversary of the citizens, and the elites the enemies of ordinary people. Rallying cries characterize both left-wing and right-wing protest movements, from the Tea Party to Occupy Wall Street. Those who do not shout these slogans, at least in part, find it difficult to be heard at all.

Politicians, such as former Alaska governor and Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin, exploit the divisions. They invoke the US Constitution and America’s long-outdated clichés, such as the values of small-town life and the days when a handshake was still considered a word of honor.

The world has become more complicated and complex, but the political debate in America has become more simplistic — wilfully ignorant of climate change, inattentive to the new requirements of an immigrant society, wary of science and even unknowledgeable about the insights of food science.

Change versus idyll: That’s the new dichotomy of the political discourse, which consists of only two incompatible categories: American and un-American. When Michelle Obama recommended that Americans eat more vegetables and fewer sweets, and perhaps occasionally skip dessert, Sarah Palin acted as if the First Lady had declared war on freedom. Now Michelle Obama was trying to deprive Americans of their desserts, Palin claimed, and her fellow citizens in many parts of the country agreed.


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