Get Real

Dick Meyer has weighed in with his "Against the Grain" column this week, and has concluded that there's nothing ailing America that a little authenticity won't fix:
What I miss is the simple honesty, the genuine moment, the unscripted moment, the gaffe — anything that has not been run through the Cuisinart of marketing, focus groups and linguistic analysis. "The enemy isn't liberalism," the late columnist, Lars-Erik Nelson, said. "The enemy isn't conservatism. The enemy is bullshit." I'll proudly swipe that as a motto.

I really don't know anyone who doesn't feel this way. "One of the biggest reasons I left Elkton Hills was because I was surrounded by phonies," said J.D. Salinger's Holden Caulfield, the greatest enemy of phonies of all. Now it seems like we're all at Elkton Hills. And it's crummy.

Politics happens to be my Petri dish. It is something I know a lot about it and where I first spot things I often notice in other parts of society. I want try to define what I mean by phony or inauthentic in this column and just stick to Potter Stewart's dictum on pornography: you know it when you see it.

But politics is probably only slightly less authentic than the other areas of American culture.

Check out the rest of the columnand see if you agree.