Hi Brian,

This is disheartening. And it is what I always say about religion. When was the last time you changed your religion because a stranger knocked on your door and wanted to share their excitement? Yet when it comes to politics I remain hopeful somehow that a clear and cohesive rhetoric will shine just the right amount of light.

But when you say “Maddow is an important force for reinforcing the liberal base (in part because conservatives either don’t watch or experience reactance against, and in part because even liberals need their affect reinforced and bolstered in an evil empire such as Trump’s)” my concern is that the role of journalism has then transitioned to support group.

She would be a fabulous facilitator in an echo chamber support group or a research-based poli-sci seminar. But I think many of us (hopefully) have reinforcing support networks in our private lives already. What I need from the public faces of progressive politics outside the empire is not someone to bolster my heart’s deepest convictions but someone who can use their platform to convey these convictions to those actively working against the rule of law, compassion and transparency.

I think Maddow is well equipped to employ the methodology you referenced. She has the pathos to establish trust, listen openly and dissect factual errors in a non-threatening way. To be sure, this is a loathsome task when you’re essentially putting on kid gloves to tell adults not to cage children. Among the many other threats against humanity and democracy.

Meghan Daum’s article speaks well to the point I’m trying to make and the larger framework I’m trying to make it in.

Thank you so much for reading and adding your insight.

twitter @h_m_edwards unsplash @heathermedwards

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