- You may remember what Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, said of the lockdowns: “You don’t make the timeline. The virus makes the timeline.” Well, if history is any guide, the same thing holds true for campaigning in a year of national crisis. You don’t control the narrative. The crisis does.
- When did a plain story become a perpetual narrative? It used to be that after something happened, our leaders, or would-be leaders, would simply debate whatever occurred...Now we must fashion ‘‘narratives.’’ It has all become so faux-momentous, especially in the dispiriting potboiler of our national politics. There might be ‘‘counternarratives’’ to a ‘‘false narrative’’ that feed a ‘‘meta-narrative.’’
- It is during election season that narratives become cesspools of predictable inanity. It is no longer enough for candidates to simply win or lose or be right or wrong. They must also control the narrative.
- Such is the power of the narrative that the facts of suffering, humiliation or injustice lose their evocative potential; they cease to scandalise, they are unable to evoke a moral response. Democracy can thus afford the co-existence of multiple injustices and a quiet citizenry when such narratives are able to reconstruct facts and convince the masses of the validity of that reconstruction. The silence today is a result of the popular acceptance of reconstructed reality and adherence to an alternative morality.
- When the public narrative significantly diverges from lived experience, the only outcome is more frustration among the people, who realise that on top of being poorly served, they’re also being lied to and manipulated.