Cynical about Political Cynicism
I have grown weary of whiny journalists and pundits who have such a limited understanding of history and narrow appreciation for what it takes to lead this country. They think it’s so damn easy. And now… just about any nitwit with a camera and a YouTube account can be one! God, help me. Yah… okay… citizen journalism… blah blah. But hold the opinion. Get to the story.
Maybe my real problem is with the established types and the pundits who flame the airwaves (and social media) with their idiot ideas about wholesale political changeover. Well, sorry. Been done. Many times, actually. And each time it actually happens, we end up wasting valuable resources in terms of training new politicos to do a job that takes (by my own estimation) at least a year to acclimate into (and that’s if all you plan to do is be an ideological rubber stamp for the national party). Moreover, think about what abrupt changes in policy does to people who depend on services.
If you think that being an elected leader is so easy – then get going and be one. I spent one year as the elected president of our school PTL; a school with only 150 kids. It was almost a full-time job holding meetings, balancing budgets, soothing feelings, negotiating policy and working out compromises. Doing a job like that at the Congressional level should be a million times more difficult. If it isn’t, something is wrong.
I’ve also grown weary of the cynicism of partisanship. The hell with that. People ask me, “Hey Ray, are you a Democrat or Republican.” My answer these days, “I’m an American. Thanks for asking.” But they don’t get it. They just think I’m being cynical.
This country has a 200+ year heritage of working out differences; people who are willing to come to a table for CIVIL debate and compromise. Statesmanship (screw the PC version of that label) means setting aside ideologies for the sake of the country. The fact that this country has stood for 200+ years with representative governance should be seen as something of a modern-day miracle. So when one partisan claims that the other partisan is turning the country to ruin, I’d like to remind them that unyielding partisanship has never produced good governance.
Final point, there isn’t a road made in this country that wasn’t paid by taxes. There isn’t a single inch of our distributed networks (telephone, electricity, water) that doesn’t owe its existence to taxes. All of our public infrastructure – first responders, schools, military services, et al – are paid for with taxes. Our society is wholly and completely supported by the will of the people to pay taxes.
Until somebody comes up with a better way to commoditize resources without money, then we’re stuck with taxes. True, some federal institutions are enormously inefficient, but that’s where the will of the people comes in. Elect professionals who can look beyond partisanship and ideologies – and we will solve problems.
And presto – cynicism gone.
About: Ray Wyman, Jr is a content creator, communications professional, and author with more than 30 years of experience. Visit LinkedIN or Raywyman.com for more information.
While partisanship has always filled politics, the level to which it now fills the media landscape is infinitely more depressing. We simply don’t know who to trust anymore for an honest assessment and reasoned insights, and without that compass to guide us, we have fallen into self-policing through social media which has brought some amazing thoughts to the table. But the flip side is, we have not learned how to edit ourselves to keep the discussions civil and the exchanges meaningful. We’re seeing a battle for hearts and minds in the trenches of millions upon millions of people instead of a few media conglomerates, and while that’s an exciting proposition, it’s also sad to see that many of us are so ill-equipped to handle the task at hand. Much like when MTV launched way back when, and radio and album acts had to adapt to the new medium, the politicians that can harness social media, avoid too much of the gotcha game and do a good job communicating are going to be the leaders we look up to going forward. I have experience on the inside of the government and elected official game, and you’re right when you say it isn’t easy. But the best way to reduce that tension and cynicism is to learn how to harness the new media tools and use them in an honest and forthright way to build dialogs that can bring about changes, action and results.