Our collective (short-term) memory

David Goldman, Eric Goldman AP FILE – In this Oct. 3, 2012, file photo combo, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney … Continued

David Goldman, Eric Goldman


FILE – In this Oct. 3, 2012, file photo combo, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and President Obama speak during their first presidential debate at the University of Denver.

Days after the first presidential debate and days before the vice presidential debate, Rabbi David Wolpe of Sinai Temple in Los Angeles penned the following poem about the body politic, campaigns and news cycles.

Writes Wolpe:

People’s memories are so short
They forget how short people’s memories are.
Each declaration we think definitive, each turn the final twist.
Then we forget, so now the new event is the crucial one:
The debate! The gaffe! The stumble! The staff!

That is why we have pundit shows each Sunday.
Because the previous Sunday has been forgotten.
Its predictions are as wrong and ragged as last year’s
Signs proclaiming the end of the world.
But right on time there are fresh, persuasive opinions.

We are so forgetful we read journalism as history.
This must be the real story, digested and true.
Trust me, the debate will soon be old news.
And the new news will be old news too.
The world, like the campaigns, refuses to stop spinning.

If I’m wrong, I trust your memory is short.

Rabbi of Sinai Temple in Los Angeles, David Wolpe is the author of seven books including “Making Loss Matter: Creating Meaning in Difficult Times” and his latest, “Why Faith Matters.” Follow him on Facebook.


  • backspace1

    i’m a drunkard? true

    staggered line-in defense.
    micah comes to mind in debate, last night
    in the psalms of david?

    the whisper in outburst of spirit? if our memories are short then so our patience.

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