Hollywood celebrities enjoy positions of great privilege and influence, because they are given lucrative opportunities by Hollywood insiders and they garner a great deal of support from fans. Talent and hard “work” may help many celebrities build a reputation as professionals, but the ability to attract attention is what ultimately determines their celebrity status. In turn, it is their celebrity credentials and wealthy lifestyles that seduce followers to emulate their behavior and respect their opinions on any number of subjects, which they often fail to thoroughly grasp. The same is true when it comes to political celebrities whose rigid, often superficial, political ideologies prevent them from administering responsive and proper governance.
Where the Press has increasingly favored personalities for their ability to pander to target audiences and attract hordes of new followers, above their investigative and analytical skills, the broader political industry has increasingly focused on the ability of candidates, staffers, bureaucrats lobbyists, analysts, and other professionals to win over voters and dollars. At best, political professionals have credentials that rationalize their selection by powerful insiders based on how well these recruits agree with their political views and agendas. Many are technically proficient and knowledgeable, but the narrow and rigid focus of their bias limits their capacity to constructively respond to issues and engineer innovative public policy solutions.
The fallout of House Speaker Paul Ryan’s failed attempt at health insurance reform, i.e. The American Health Care Act, represents just one of the countless areas where industry practices have prevented the emergence of constructive public policy solutions and derailed attempts to tackle the need for reforms. To be frank, Ryan’s Obamacare replacement was motivated by the political push to pass something, anything, to replace the Affordable Care Act. It was a thoughtless package of reforms favored by conservative special interest groups, for various self-serving and political reasons, that sought to impose a solution onto the health insurance industry, the American People, and Congress.
Donald Trump and Republican-led government dysfunction receive a lot of criticism, especially from the Main Stream Media, but the inability of the political industry to provide effective, sustainable solutions to problems has been a persistent issue. The problem is the lack of leadership and problem solving ability of the many P-list celebrities who now dominate government. Donald Trump’s unpolished speech and ill-crafted responses to criticism reveal his status as a newcomer to the political industry, yet most other people in politics share the same kind of one-dimensional thinking and ill-considered views on issues. When pushed beyond their comfort zones and standard rhetoric, most industry professionals struggle to offer more than scripted responses.
It is not that Donald Trump and the highly acclaimed Paul Ryan are particularly inept. It is not that politics is filled with stupid people. It is, largely, that the political system fosters thoughtlessness. It is that the whole political system favors rhetoric over substance and seeks form over functions. Not only do the political celebrities lack insights beyond the political ideology they thoughtlessly regurgitate and the recycled public policy solutions they continually misuse in a vain effort to say they did something, the political industry has failed to recruit and nurture talent needed to make up for their lack of insight and innovative thinking. In other words, politicians do not have an innovative support structure to feed them novel solutions and well-crated public policy options.
Again, this is not to say that the civil servants in government and the researchers of the political industry are incompetent and lazy. There is, however, a reason legislation, including the Affordable Care Act, is poorly written and filled with massive loopholes that create unintended consequences. It is that the political system rewards people for their ability to deliver votes and attract campaign dollars, which means catering to special interests. Public policy is a low priority in the world of political celebritism. Taking the risk of just exploring novel public policy options often leads to such backlash from one side of the aisle or the other that few are willing to consider new ideas or disagree with their base. When policy is needed, this is why political leaders like Paul Ryan and Donald Trump simply grab whatever partisan ideas their backers hand them and try to force them through Congress without exploring whether or not they are acceptable and functional reforms.
Unfortunately, the political industry has prized the celebrity status of political personality for so long that political minds have atrophied. The solutions starts by recognizing the problem. Donald Trump was elected, because the political industry was already failing to provide solutions to problems. The next step is to recognize, fund, and recruit more innovative thinkers who seek functional, balanced government. Today, political hobbyists and special interests dominate every part of the political industry from think tanks to cabinet positions. Instead of of empowering people to push political agendas and politically motivate policies under the false pretense of trying to solve problems, influential individuals in politics need to demand professionals who seek public policies that serve the common good and make government more functional.
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