If you haven't noticed already, then you might be living under a rock. There has been a backlash against "traditional" politicians and the government they represent in general. This is what gave us Trump.
But first we need to evaluate: what is a "traditional" politician?
A traditional politician, if we examine past elections and members of Congress, is someone who has experience in the government and has served the country through some position for a period of time. However, there is much that the word connotes rather than explicitly defines. We, the people, visualize traditional to mean white, older, and restrained -- and almost always male.
When did we start distrusting the traditional politician?
There have been many moments in our naiton's history where the people distrusted their leader, but few moments that have questioned our belief in the governing system. It began with President Richard Nixon and the infamous Watergate Scandal. This was when the American people began to question their government as a whole.
After a series of "traditional" presidents, some memorable and some not, came Obama.
Obama was both traditional and non-traditional. He was a Senator, but with little experience. He was a man, but he was Black. He was young, but not too young to be unqualified. Obama was the non-traditional politician who worked alongside the traditional government. His ability to see through the eyes of the people, and through the view of the government gave him the incredible ability to delegate.
The immediate response to this was a greater call for change: the non-traditional politician.
People and their representatives wanted someone who catered even less to the traditional government. This gave us Trump. Yet, his non-traditional aspect comes from no experience, a disregard for the governing process, and a lack of restraint. He appears to be transparent, unlike traditional politicians, but at the same time isn't.
We have entered the era of non-traditional politicians, whether they are running for election or not. I consider people like Jon Stewart, Trevor Noah, and Hasan Minhaj non-traditional politicians. Both Jon Stewart and Hasan Minhaj have testified before Congress. These people, though not politicians by profession, engage in the politics of this country every day in their professions. AOC is also a non-traditional politician in that she engages directly with the people in her community. She reaches out about her personal life on her Instagram.
Comedians, political satirists, and members of the media have become integral non-traditional politicians.
But what does this mean?
It means our governing system has grown rotten with the "traditional" politicians. This doesn't mean our governing system is wrong, but that it needs non-traditional people to bring it back to life -- to question it and make changes that are desperately needed. The traditional politicians think the government works for them, whereas most non-traditionalists aim for the government to meet the needs of the people.
Non-traditional politicians also brings in non-traditional politics. We need to be ready for change.