It's Time To Stop Discrediting The "Traditional" Politician
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Politics and Activism

It's Time To Stop Discrediting The "Traditional" Politician

Trusting merit over fame.

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It's Time To Stop Discrediting The "Traditional" Politician
roya ann miller via Unsplash

No matter where you fall on the political spectrum, "politician" has become a dirty word, and is now synonymous with corruption, scandal, and a lack of productivity. While these assumptions of political behavior are often made for valid reasons, it does not mean that politicians need to be completely expunged from society.

During the 2016 Presidental Election, one of the most common phrases used to explain the Electoral College electing Donald Trump was that "people are tired of the traditional politician". According to the election's votes by demographic, the majority of those lacking higher education tended to agree with this sentiment and voted for Trump, the Titanic of presidents.

This goes to show just how vital education is in being an informed citizen. If you prepare to vote in an election based solely on your own self-interests rather than considering a candidate that is actually qualified for their position and the impact they will have on society as a whole, the political process that is integral to our democracy will shut down. Those who have an understanding that being president of the United States is more than just giving brilliant speeches (sorry, Oprah) are more likely to vote for a candidate that is politically competent rather than famous.

While it seems as though everyone wants Oprah to run for president, we must remember that while she is the ultimate role model, icon, and absolute queen, these characteristics do not necessarily qualify someone to be president. Experience with topics such as foreign affairs, healthcare policy, and massive budgets are just a few of the many un-glamourous and seemingly boring yet important aspects of presidencies that few people pay attention to until they go into crisis mode, which it feels like we have been in a constant state of between relations with North Korea, Trump's attempt at an Affordable Care Act "replacement", and his equally disastrous new tax plan.

For me, it's essentially choosing the lesser of two evils if need be: you either support someone who you feel you trust personally because you have been watching them on TV for 25 years yet has absolutely no political experience, or choose someone you know could steer America away from unnecessary wars and keep your access to health care present, even if you do not think they are as blatantly "honest" with the American people as many continue to believe Trump is.

Being the CEO of America is different than being the CEO of a major corporation, even though an increasing number of people are beginning to view them as the same. Just because someone has become wealthy through their ability to run a large business does not mean that they are politically competent. We must consider the externalities of holding the most powerful office in the world before blindly electing another celebrity as president.

Remembering politicians such as Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, and even the people's "uncle" Joe Biden will change the political tide when looking forward to 2020. Urging completely unqualified celebrities to run for president just because they are rich and famous enough to have their voices heard completely discredits the decades these civil servants have dedicated to working for the American people. I look forward to the day where merit is once again valued in American politics, and have hope that America has learned the damage electing another celebrity president can cause-- cough cough Ronald Reagan "maybe" manufacturing the crack epidemic in the U.S.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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