I have been watching the John Adams series on HBO and it is, of course, impossible not to see it in the context of our current political landscape. The most striking element of the series is the willingness of the political leaders to engage in discussion and debate. The freedom with which these leaders spoke is simply unthinkable today.
Any episode of John Adams features an untold number of utterances that would be fodder for endless news cycles and opportunistic demands for apology in today's world. An endless array of questions are the product of thinking about that shift.
How did we get from there to here? Is the media to blame? Are politicians to blame? Are citizens to blame? Is it simply a design flaw in our system? Is there anything that can be done about it? How much long term damage is our inability to have a frank discussion doing to us? Or is the image of our Founding Fathers in serious discussion more myth than reality?
An answer to these questions would be nice, but a simple, honest discussion of the issue would be a good start.