LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Instead of an infinite number of ideologues shouting past one another - on television, via e-mail spam, on radio talk shows - what this country needs is someone who can do an intelligent monologue. Someone who's eccentric but lucid, entertaining yet informative, calming but never boring.
The great monologue is not to be confused with just a series of punch lines, or a didactic lecture, or a pep talk. It's like a river of thought - gathering power, taking unexpected twists, creating safe harbors, or cutting new channels while carrying the listener around every bend: not just a utilitarian lock-and-dam moving a load from here to there.