Monthly Archives: October 2016

Why do educated, charming, well-balanced young Americans almost exclusively pursue careers outside of governance?

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Last week, the Obamas hosted Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi  as their final state dinner honoree.  Dubbed, “the Justin Trudeau of Italy,” he is the youngest prime minister (age 41) since Italy became a unified nation in 1861.

Fun fact:
At 19, Renzi was a contestant on Italy’s version of “Wheel of Fortune” and appeared on five episodes until he wrongly guessed “navi” (ships) instead of “neve” (snow) — a mistake that bugs him to this day. The show’s host teased him mercilessly, but Renzi walked away with more than 48 million lire, about 25,000 euros or $27,500 today.
Source: The Washington Post

Italy is coming to be known for its young politicians. Virginia Raggi, now 38, is the first female mayor of Rome.  Her platform was anti-corruption, and she opposed Rome’s 2024 Olympic bid, believing it would worsen the existing debt. Can you remember a country not wanting the Olympics? A bold choice from a bold woman.

La candidata M5s a sindaco di Roma Virginia Raggi durante la conferenza stampa nella sede dell'Associazione Stampa Estera, Roma, 25 febbraio 2016. ANSA/ MASSIMO PERCOSSI

She may or may not have been a contributor to this summer’s public trash woes, but absolutely no one has been able to keep up with the Mafia’s successful sanitation.

I bring these politicians to your attention to emphasize the contrast between most current US politicians, and the glamour and vibrancy possible in the future.

How did we get here–where the presidential candidate of public desire is a spry 68?  Is government navigation really so dependent on “life experience” that high mileage of scandal and drudgery is the job prerequisite? Can you name a respected national politician under 40?

Perhaps more to the point, why do educated, charming,  well-balanced young Americans almost exclusively pursue careers outside of governance?  Why is the career so repulsive to the normcore? And for the few moderate people who do attempt to be elected, why do they fail?

Is it the media’s fault, for creating an unbearable burden of interminable prying and spin?  Partly.  But foreign media and paparazzi is possibly more salacious than ours.

The voting-public’s?  Well who is that exactly?  To quote an idol, there is no such thing as society. There are only individual men and women.

As a conservative, it concerns me that those who give millions to candidates (and/or lead the businesses that give millions to candidates) pick our small pool of viable potential presidents, senators, and congressmen for us.  Why are the very wealthy such poor judges of character? There must be something about delusion and the ability to accumulate wealth that go hand-in-hand.

Unless and until we reform US campaign financing, our candidates will likely continue to be subpar.

Debate Grades: Trump C, Clinton A, Wallace A

This was the debate for intellectuals.

Sec. Clinton A: She was nearly flawless.  As poised as we’ve ever seen her, she had a well-thought-out answer to every question, and took every attempt made to rattle her to instead demonstrate her superior IQ.  She never flagged during her 90 minute slayage.  Also, the white jacket was bomb and the whole suit was impeccably tailored.

 

Trump C: He showed how little his range of points is.  Everything about America is a “disaster,” he is still sore about Bill Clinton’s NAFTA, and is victimized by women who supposedly want to be famous for having been groped by him (as Michael Che aptly said, it’s “every little girl’s dream.”)

 

Wallace A: Showed us how moderation is done.  For the first time in any debate this year, he actually held up his hand and said “No” to someone trying to talk out of turn. He also forced the candidates to answer the questions at hand, and addressed factual errors from past debates. This was a major credibility win for Fox News.

 

Debate Grades: Trump F, Clinton B, Cooper A, Raddatz B

Trump  F: Total dodge of The Video–kept dismissing it as “locker room talk,” (which would make it inoffensive to everybody?) after being given every chance to just apologize for a lapse in judgement.  Instead he talked about how ISIS is medieval in hopes of making us forget.

His pacing behind Hillary came off as menacing.

Was sarcastic and totally unfocused.  Kept referencing a time when Bernie Sanders said that Hillary had bad judgment.  Is he pursuing Sanders fans or…?

Most of his off-topic, non-answers made one think, “Yes, and?”  He was clearly grasping at straws by vaguely attacking Clinton’s friends, donors, and husband, instead of her.

Also, why are so many Republicans turning away just now?  Because the concentric circles are closing in on the WASP establishment.  “All women” (as opposed to minority ones) hits too close to home.

 

Clinton  B: Got smug, but was mostly sharp, studied, and intelligent.  And answered the questions.

 

Cooper  A: Came closest to living out all our fantasies of calling lies out on the carpet, and in a respectful way.

 

Raddatz  B: Had room to better escalate her language, rather than just repeat that we want to move on.

 

 

 

VP Debate Grades: Pence B, Kaine D, Quijano A

Assessment of Tuesday night’s VP debate:

Pence   B: Repeatedly went big picture, and thus successfully avoided defending Trump’s indefensible statements.  Cultivated an air of sanity and even-keeling.

Kaine  D: Was shamefully defensive and combative.  Blindly kept walking into Pence’s trap of attempted out-classing, going above, and “there-you-go-again” rebukes of being an old saw.

Quijano   A:  Fair, firm, kind–Quijano gracefully tisked the candidates for speaking over one another, and advocated for the viewer first and foremost.  A model performance.