Why are the Republican Presidential debates so intensely personal? And, seemingly, why are this year’s debates more personal than they seem to have been in past years’ debates?
My theory is that as nearly every aspect of society becomes de-formalized, including the de-formalization of “knowledge,” it (whatever “it” happens to be, in this case, political campaigns) becomes less revered as “expertise” or “factual” or “true” and, therefore, is vulnerable to the types of casual, de-formalized rearticulations that we see as “personal attacks” in this case. In terms of the Republican Presidential debates, is it possible that the candidates’ perception that knowledge, as it is democratized, can be manipulated, splintered, into various “truths,” that they’re deferring to the rhetorical affects of their responses to one anothers’ attacks, versus verification of their “facts” as opposed to the other’s “facts”?
What are the consequences, positive, negative, and otherwise, of the democratization of knowledge and the rearticulation of “truth,” the renegotiation of its power and prestige as “expertise”?