It isn’t just that partisanship has taken a toll on decent political discourse and poisoned the well of ideas, although that is certainly the case. It is more basically an assault on our system in the name of constitutional authenticity and traditional values – – a setup by political hucksters who mix false virtue with religious zealotry and jingoistic platitudes.

The aftermath of November’s elections should serve as a warning that change isn’t just about putting a fresh crop of legislators into Congress and thinking something beneficial has occurred. New faces and old ideas aren’t a recipe for good government nor are they curative for what ails either the economy or the American psyche. We are faced with a dangerous trend that isn’t just about idealistic dream merchants but is rather a parade of propagandists whose ignorance and narrow-minded certitude muddies the intellectual waters. Mindless drivel drives a media market that wants to appear even-handed in its approach to issues – – any fool with an opinion is given an opportunity to speak with seeming authority despite threadbare credentials and irritatingly biased views.