As the media circus surrounding the upcoming presidential election continues its upward rise, I grow ever-more-convinced of the rightness of my belief that politics is basically entertainment for the masses. Politics, all politics, has become a sort of American Idol for ugly megalomaniacs.
I've said before that I consider politics almost useless and politicians completely so. That isn't to say I don't take politics seriously, because I certainly do. Just not in a sort of popular way.
I also am finding that the degradation of politics is accelerating with the acceleration of new media. It's become a 24/7 riot of speeches, stumping, candidates going to the mattresses over things they seem to agree on, and supporters screaming at each other about topics about which they seem to understand very, very little.
This isn't going to turn into support for any candidate. It's more a musing on the collapse of political importance. It's hard to say, since I've only been alive for a slightly over a quarter century, but I think that politics has actually gotten less importance. I know it seems more important, but I suspect that is because of the coverage it gets and since representatives from other countries are, on television anyways, their politicians.
How sad that is. Wouldn't it be great if the face of France for American news wasn't some big-nosed, big-eared, big-foreheaded baby. Or think about America! How great it would have been if our representative to the world wasn't George Bush! How many other countries must feel the same?
Oh right, the collapse. It just seems to me that politics is actually having a decreasing roll to play in the world, regardless of the media. I think the media has more to do with the easy-digestibility of politics. It's very people-oriented. Morons can easily understand politics. Morons cannot easily understand science. In fact, recent events in the US such as the Dover Schools/Intelligent Design debacle highlight that science downright scares some people. Too bad that it's the future.
And that's incredibly bad. Not only should we never discount the power of stupid people in large groups, I read that on a t-shirt once, but we cannot afford to have an "intelligent elite." Other countries, maybe, but not the US. Or economy is rocketing towards a service/"idea" economy. Ideas from the intelligent elite being serviced by the idiotic masses? Economically, it seems feasibly, but that would reduce America self-serving nothingness on the global stage. Probably replaced by the European Union in importance.
Oh right, back to the collapse. Politics is easily digestible, so that's why so, SO many people jump on. They don't need to understand anything beyond desires, emotions, and whether they like someone or not. But as the circus grows, it all seems a bit... pointless. I'm quite sure this has been said before by some idiot in every generation, but I have the seismic shift in media that's happening to help my point.
Politics is becoming more important to more people, but because of that free-for-all, the people who actually matter are leaving it behind. They don't want to try and change the minds of a million, or a billion, twits. They just want to get shit done! And the more morons you have, the harder it is to get shit done. Hence the cliché of chefs ruining broth. Politics was a broth, and as it stands, we've got so many chefs we don't know what to do with them all.
I suspect that the people before me who have speculated the same were also correct. Like I've said, name a single great politician. That's hard enough. Then try naming five. And by great, I mean someone who has changed the world. Politics has never been terribly important. If it had been, we'd have more great politicians throughout history. It's science that changes things. Name a great scientist. Go ahead. Try to keep your list under a page. I dare you.