Politics has passed through many epochs. There have been eras of isolationism, or imperial conquest, or egalitarianism, or nationalist aggression. Now, in the transatlantic sphere at least, we seem to be entering a new historical phase: the Era of Stupid.
American and British politicians at the highest level appear to be engaged in a competition to see who can utter the most defiantly ill-informed, aggressively ignorant statements about precisely the issues that governments have traditionally regarded as life-and-death matters. Somehow, this brazen guilelessness – the shameless display of the failure to understand even the basic meanings of significant words – seems to be offered as a bond with the common man, as if not understanding complicated things was a measure of authenticity.