Matt Taibbi gets it. In his brilliant "The Great Derangement", the Rolling Stone journalist makes the connection between the deranged evangelical right and the deranged anti Bush left. Authority has broken down, Taibbi argues. Nobody believes anyone else anymore. Thus the Christian Right finds symbolic evidence of the apocalypse at the bottom of their breakfast cereal. Thus the Loose Change digital left believes that Bush & Cheney organized all of 9/11, including bombing the Twin Towers and firing American rockets at the Pentagon. As Taibbi observes, non-belief, media skepticism, has become the dogma of our age:
The Great Derangement is about a stage of our history where politics has seemingly stopped being about ideology and has instead turned into a problem of information. Are the right messages reaching our collective brains? Are the halves of that brain even connected? Do we know who are anymore? Are we same? It's a hell of a problem for a nuclear power."
Exactly. America is drifting beyond ideology and politics has become a problem of information. If we don't trust the guy on the tv or the newspaper journalist, then who can we trust? It's either God or the Internet, Taibbi says:
The message of all of this was that Americans were now supposed to make their own sense of the world. There was no dependable authority left to turn to, no life raft in the increasingly perilous informational sea. This coincided with an age when Americans now needed to understand more of the world than ever before. A factory worker in suburban Ohio now needed to understand the cultures of places like Bangalore and Beijing if he wanted to know why he'd lost his job. Which, incidentally, he probably had. Now broke, or under severe financial pressure, with no community leaders, no community, no news he can trust, Joe American has to turn on the Internet and tell himself a story that makes sense to him.
What story is he going to tell?
And, on the Internet, Joe American will be educated about the world by Brentwood bold-faced types who have replaced professional journalists as the buoys in Taibbi's perilous informational sea. Yes, he's right. Politics has indeed become a problem of information. That's why politics in America has become so problematic. And that's the real story of our deranged God-Internet age.