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.
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.
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.