Our already interminable campaign seasons have gotten even longer, and they occupy far more of our attention while they are going on.
Meanwhile the proliferation of polling aggregators and the rise of data-driven journalism mean that the horse race never really has to end.
The national mood on this matter was nicely summarized in a recent His life seemed sad and lonely, not exhilarating.
His decision to disengage was also, particularly now, the height of irresponsibility, an abdication of that most basic duty of citizenship: staying informed.
No one I know is entirely happy with this state of affairs.
At the same time, there is a widespread feeling that our current emergency simply requires heightened attention, however much we might regret the fact.No matter how far we are from Election Day, there is always a new scrap of information to be assimilated into our long-term forecasts.I was an assistant editor at this magazine during the 2008 campaign, when I witnessed a lot of wide-ranging conversations about the political future. Bush years had been kind to ) were still in thrall to liberal interventionism. Even before hostilities officially began, some of Lewis’s Oxford colleagues had wondered whether the university should be temporarily closed “in the event of an international emergency.” Could the work of Oxford and places like it—turning young men of fighting age into philosophers, scholars, and critics—be justified at such a moment? Lewis delivered a sermon at Oxford’s University Church, later published under the title “Learning in War-Time.” World War II had been under way for just a few weeks, and most people in England were starting to recognize the unprecedented level of mobilization the war effort would require.Granted that citizens have such a duty, it’s not clear to me how far it extends.Must we read all of our president’s tweets in real time?On our way to work in the morning we catch up on the latest news from Washington, at our desks during the day we procrastinate by posting and tweeting about it, and at home each night we relax—if that’s the word—by watching Seth Meyers and Stephen Colbert make it into a joke.We have come to expect political gestures at sporting events, awards shows, and other places where they were once notably rare.This is the question Lewis sought to address in his sermon.The role of the modern corporate university in any war effort is fairly clear today, but at the time Oxford and its peers were still largely dedicated to the humanities.