In most every post of any length, I strive, in my own obscure little way, for at least some whit of originality — of original thinking, of signature style, of something, anything differentiated from the millions of words pumped out daily on the Internet. Otherwise, I figure, there is no point to my posting. I appreciate that I don't always succeed; some days, creativity just won't come. But I do try, for I also figure I owe you that much: the attempt, if nothing else. I never wish to squander your time on words you can read most anywhere else.
Mine is, of course, no singular philosophy of political commentary. It is, rather, the fundamental force that underlies the writing of all readable commentary. If C and D are to write precisely what A and B have already written, already observed, then C and D should spare us. We find it offensive — or rather we should find it offensive — when political commentators trundle out the already and vastly available. They — especially the well-compensated ones — owe us more than that. Each post, each piece, each column, should contain something of some originality.
And yet we are cheated, regularly. Roaming the cyberpages of major journalistic organs is the all too familiar herd — which, once it espies others grazing on some sexy narrative, just can't help itself. It swarms the easy pastures of prefabricated thought. Case in dreadful point … This morning I somewhat randomly clicked on Kathleen Parker's latest — "Brexit, meet America’s Trexit" — only to be rudely and instantly met by: "With Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, did Donald Trump just win the presidential election? On the surface, this may seem an odd question…."
No, it seems a silly question. In fact it is a silly question.
It's also a question that took instant hold on much of America's commentariat, and so within 24 hours we were reading it damn near everywhere.
Brexit, Ms. Parker et al, wasn't a mentally unbalanced toddler. Brexit wasn't subject to America's diverse electorate. Brexit wasn't detested by overwhelming numbers in virtually every voting bloc. Neither was Brexit subject to a partisanly entrenched Electoral College map that will reject "Trexit" for the roundly distasteful pathogen it, he, is. Brexit may resemble a Trexit, or rather a Trexit may resemble a Brexit, but there the fundamentals end.
Nonetheless, the slothful comparison has issued forth with undifferentiated vigor and almost indistinguishable wording. It is plausible, it is said, that Brexit over there portends the triumph of Trump here. Well, such fearmongering (in some cases, cheerleading) fills space and elicits gobs of clicks, I suppose; we do so like to be frightened. I enjoy a good scare myself every now and then, so to that, I don't object.
I do object, however, to the pounding sameness of this herd's, ahem, observations. We deserve at least a touch of originality — which sure as hell isn't to be found in the undiscerning, monotonous cries of "Brexit foretells a President Trump." That's just lazy.