27 January 2012

Missing the Point

Poisoning the well of political discourse may be one of the reasons why we see such unsatisfactory sets of candidates for political office in both parties, not only this year but in previous election years as well.
Many able and decent people are understandably reluctant to subject themselves and their families to a mud-slinging contest or to media "gotcha" questions. The creeping acceptance of such practices is hardly a justification, but is itself part of the degeneration of our times.
It’s pretty simple:  politics is Jersey Shore for the middle class.  It’s all a mudslinging mess, complete with petty drama, asinine interviews, contrived situations, and lots of attempt at moral posturing by greasy slimebags.  The Republican debates are like the Real Housewives of New York:  lots of hissy fits and name-calling coupled with hilarious self-seriousness.  There’s so much manufactured drama in politics that it’s hard to see any meaningful differences between it and so-called reality TV.

Politics, like reality TV, serves as a way for all of us to get off on how smart and moral we all are.  We’d never go through three wives like Newt Gingrich.  We’d never talk crazy like good ol’ Ron Paul (seriously, who cares about The Fed?).  We’d never be a weirdo homeschooling Catholic freak like Rick “Santorum” Santorum.  We’d never be a sniveling beta Mormon like Mitt Romney.  And all our policies would work perfectly from day one.  Aren’t we so great, being so much better than these unelectable clowns?

And that’s the whole point of politics:  to give us public figures to mock and look down upon.  We enjoy the schadenfreude of tearing down others who purport to be our superior, and politics is the easiest way to go about this.  It’s certainly not about finding a capable, intelligent leader that we can respect.


  1. Jersey Shore for the middle class-good one! Seriously though, you know that Jersey Shore is a cultural phenomenon when cerebral places like your blog allude to it...

  2. @MarkyMark- I only thought of it because I was talking about it with a real life fan of that show earlier in the day. But you can pretty much substitute any other reality TV show and the comparison stands.