I hate the phrase "media hype," because it means only what the speaker or writer wants it to mean. I like words that travel in a straight line.
So what I mean by "Joe Biden hype" is that, now that Biden won't run for president, it's being hyped as though people cared.
I've read a lot of stories about Biden's possible candidacy, but if you get out among just regular people, you'd see a unicorn before you heard Joe Biden's name mentioned in any kind of conversation. This is partially because, while a great many people care about ideas and philosophies, fewer and fewer people every year care about politics.
Gun people want to keep their guns. Abortion people want abortions to be legal and easy to get. Neither group cares who will do these things, as long as someone does.
We hate politicians. Right now, we hate our inoffensive, bumbling, lifetime state representative more than hippies hated Spiro Agnew. We hate our city councilors. We hate our mayors.
And, despite an unprecedented level of angry political dialogue, we do not vote, not that many of us. Old people vote. Old people and nutjobs.
I like it that old people vote, but I wouldn't mind if the nutjobs stayed home.
Over the last 20 years or so, the angry nutjobs have become the focus. A quick look around the Halloween halls of Congress and you'll see how that's working.
You can always get a good Hillary Clinton discussion going because people hate her. You can get a good Bernie Sanders discussion going because people hate socialism. You can get a good Donald Trump discussion going because the people who love Trump hate everything.
Hate is the ammunition in the national semi-automatic political discussion. You can't hate Joe Biden because he isn't a cartoon character like goofy Trump and because Biden isn't black .
Reporters wrote seriously about Biden because the ever-shrinking news business still employs reporters whose stories are aimed at a diminishing number of voters and a crew of nutjobs who believe every reporter is "biased." The voters are vanishing and the nutjobs have now developed a number of fake news sites where they can go to have their prejudices confirmed by people who are not reporters.
The reporters write traditional political stories because they don't know how to write about the naked sword of hate that flashes in every political conversation. The average political reporter is as trying to cover today's screaming hatred as the reporters of 50 years ago were when they tried to cover the hippies and the yippies.
Rage is all. Joe Biden couldn't make it flare, not high enough, and so, at the end, he was carried out by reporters who keep writing the old story because they don't believe the new story is real.
To find out more about Marc Munroe Dion and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit www.creators.com. Dion's latest book, "Marc Dion: Volume I" is a collection of his best columns from 2014 and is available for $2.99 for Nook and Kindle.