Saturday, April 21, 2012

QOTD- Human Resources

Quote of the Day:

As for the others, well, I cover politics for a living, and I don’t know what the silver spoon thing is. I found out about “Cookiegate” this morning. I was about eight hours late on the dog stuff and, when I asked someone who tweeted about it to explain what they were talking about, they literally didn’t believe that I could possibly be ignorant of such a consequential topic. After I learned the story, I felt a little worse about myself for being in any way involved in the tornado of idiocy that is American politics.   -- Ezra Klein, Washington Post, April 20th, 2012

MY COMMENT: Nothing amazes me more than the sheer number of quite intelligent people in our society who follow this election stuff full-time and make a living at it.  I'm not picking on Ezra Klein because he tends to have substantive columns most of the time, but the silliness of silly season seems to be getting more pronounced with every election cycle. Maybe it's a testament to the huge productivity gains in modern western civilization that we can afford such human resources expended to cover a candidate's latest Malaprop or perhaps another candidate's eating habits from 4 decades ago.

Most of political coverage is concerned not with meaningful dissection of the issues but rather of the personal peccadilloes of those running for office. We develop a cult of personality for every election.  Is this because our system of government is so finely tuned that any candidate can function within the office thus rendering careful study of the different office-seekers unnecessary? Or has modern civilization become too comfortable with the manufactured "pop culture" of politics, with elections becoming more like a reality show than a civic duty?  It's unlikely both of these scenarios can exist together.

Which leads us to another quote:  "The best argument against democracy is a five-minute talk with the average voter."?  - Winston Churchill  (h/t GH)

 ...or a five-minute perusal of modern political coverage. 


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