We may find that by empowering citizens with entertaining ways to identify and cultivate their own meaningful connections to public policy, they will be less vulnerable to strategic emotional manipulation by campaigns and interest groups. Imagine that. What if the best way to rationalize the democratic process, protect citizens, and get more people to participate is by encouraging people to become passionate and playful?

I wonder if the Mugwumps were wrong about the liquor, too?

* * *

In preparation for this article, I called Lance Bennett to discuss his current thoughts on political satire as a response to the failings of postmodern news. He brought my attention to the most recent edition of News: The Politics of Illusion.

You can imagine my delight when I turned to the final chapter outlining proposals for citizens, and read: “Find Sources of Perspective such as Political Comedy.”

If you'd like to get email from CJR writers and editors, add your email address to our newsletter roll and we'll be in touch.

 

More in Cover Story

Funny follows

Read More »

Dannagal G. Young is an assistant professor of communication at the University of Delaware and a research fellow at the university's Center for Political Communication. She is also a professional improvisational comedian with ComedySportz in Philadelphia.