You’ve seen it on social media. Somebody proudly proclaims that politicians suck, Washington elites can’t get anything done, and the person posting says that they are above it and just do not care anymore. This sounds like a decent point until you realize they are still commenting on politics; they are just taking a lazy, too-cool-for-school way of expressing their opinion.
Like most OpsLens readers, in between rolling my eyes and tall/stiff drinks, I noticed this a great deal at the Democratic debate on both nights. The many contenders on the debate stage had their pre-canned lines that they hoped would become viral; their voices were annoyingly loud as they tried to impart the importance of their awkwardly inserted talking points by screaming. And they often tried to zing their opponents with the same lazy moral superiority you often see on social media.
They each took turns complaining and proclaiming that Washington is broken or politics as usual won’t solve the problem. They complained that everybody else on stage was horrible but they were the single solution to all of our problems. This played well to the audiences and maybe even to many viewers that are looking for somebody to replace Trump, yet not realizing they are being played in the shallowest way possible.
A 30-second or two-minute rebuttal while moderators and competitors interrupt you is not the most conducive forum for policy debates. But we live in a society where tweets often make policy and social media is a valuable medium, so the politicians on the stage should have been willing to offer more substance in that short time than empty talk about big, bold changes and how they are above it all.
This was only one Democratic debate filled with 20 smurfs which means that most OpsLens readers won’t fall for the shallow Democratic tactics. But this problem is seen in the population at large that would rather wash their hands of any and all politics to receive a few likes instead of rolling up their sleeves and holding politicians accountable. It’s especially sad to see it from presidential candidates on both sides that would rather take general swipes at Washington in order to run Washington.
So the next time you hear a politician talk about Washington being the problem or see some smug doofus striking Olympian poses above the fray, you should consider what practical solutions they bring to the table and what they have done to solve the problem instead of seeing them simply complaining about it.