Mark Twain was onto something when he distinguished in an essay between travelers who observe and travelers who absorb. He didn’t have much patience with observers because their minds stayed where they were before their trip and their subsequent opinions about a new place, culture or atmosphere were boring, and just generally dumb.
He liked absorbers, though, because those folks allowed a new place, culture or atmosphere to shake them up and reveal something about themselves they didn’t know before their trip.
This presidential election seems dominated by observers who decided what to think long before the race unfolded, before the debates were held, before the voting began.
As a journalist, this makes me sad because it means my profession isn’t doing its job of providing the impartial context that welcomes readers to absorb what they observe, to consider the outcome of their choice, to travel to that new country our votes will take us.