"Needless to say, it is not just the financial crisis that gets reduced to rash hyperbole." A sociologist asks why our political discourse is often reduced to platitudes (it's not because we're dumb). "The cultural circumstances of the late modern world undermine thick expressions of moral reasoning and the strong forms of culture they engender. An ever-expanding pluralism means that we share less and less in common. Platitudes are all that remain. Likewise, the new communications media, with their fast turnover of information and entertainment, cultivate a bias toward the superficial and titillating. ... Complex issues tend to be reduced to slogans, denunciations, and clichés."