Swimming Okay in a Shallow Pool
This is one of the most honest and I think, dead accurate things I’ve read in a very long time. This is the crux:
Maybe it’s time to admit that the people at the top of our political/media heap just aren’t very bright.
I went to grad school for political management. And from what I saw there, and from what I see everyday working and living in Washington, this is absolutely true. Not everyone, of course. There are some brilliant people working in politics and media. But I think the flashes of brilliance are far and few between.
It’s not a system that attracts the best and brightest. It’s a system that (nowadays) attracts attractive broadcast journalists who can sound halfway intelligent, and on the political side people with lots and lots of money and minds made lazy by lifetimes of not having to work very hard for anything. Think I’m generalizing? Look at the incoming freshman Republican Congress: it’s the richest group of people yet. Twenty-five percent of them are millionaires.
You need money to run. You don’t need brains to run. (Hello, Sarah Palin.) In fact, if you have brains, you’re more likely to run from politics–as far and as fast as you can. Poor Obama–he probably wishes by now that he had done the same. (And yes, I can still be angry at Obama and sorry for him at the same time.)
We can’t get anything done in this country, all right, but not just because of partisan bickering. I think DougJ is on to something. It’s because many of the people working in politics are just. not. that. smart. When they rise to the top, they’re simply swimming okay in a shallow pool.
We’d probably be far better off to fire the lot and hand the sheaf of issues to deal with to the winning American team of Future Problem Solvers. Seriously.