The Democratic primary season is upon us, so that means the field of 2020 (not the year, but the number of presidential candidates) will try to endear themselves to the electorate. This year’s crop of politicians – young and old – will employ a series of clichés that their predecessors did, making observers who have covered these contests every four years roll their eyes, cringe, and consume a glass of scotch.
The 2020 Democratic primary contest is shaping up to be more of an apology tour than an electoral battle. Suffering from a concoction of Trump Derangement Syndrome, political correctness, and civic expediency, presidential hopefuls are distancing themselves from previous policy positions and statements. How will they convince the public that they no longer endorse the views they had just five minutes ago? It’s simple: They have evolved on the matter.
Evolving on Politics
Claiming that you have evolved on a hot button issue is one of the biggest clichés there are in politics. You’re going to witness this in one-on-one interviews and on the debate stage and until Election Day. In fact, we already see confirmed contenders make the media rounds and tergiversate on key matters of the day.
It is true that not everyone expresses the same support or opposition for certain policies they did in high school or college. Legendary economist Friedrich Hayek sympathized with socialism in his 20s, but he became a revered thinker for the Austrian School until his death. You get into cynical territory when a 70-year-old candidate for the most prestigious public office in the world suddenly backtracks and becomes the biggest champion or adversary for a cause after 50 years of holding opposite views. …their handlers quickly scanned Tumblr and Twitter to see what hip new terms are being used by younger voters.
…their handlers quickly scanned Tumblr and Twitter to see what hip new terms are being used by younger voters.
It gets worse when older left-leaning officials start spouting asinine social justice buzzwords, such as privilege, positionality, and unconscious bias. It’s as if their handlers quickly scanned Tumblr and Twitter to see what hip new terms are being used by younger voters.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) modified her positions on illegal immigration. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) revised her common-sense approach to representing the people, not extremists. Vice President Joe Biden conceded that he hasn’t “always been right” on criminal justice. The woman who will never be president and rumored 2020 candidate, Hillary Clinton, has been mistaken for a ping-pong ball.
And this is why being a politician is one of the least trustworthy occupations in America. A used car salesman selling a broken-down, dilapidated hunk of junk is far more trustworthy than someone who has permanently parked his or her keister in a seat on Capitol Hill.
Everyone should give credit to Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and former Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), two polar opposites on the political spectrum. They have been consistent for much of their adult lives. If one man demands government-run health care and higher taxes on the rich and the other argues ending the wars and abolishing the Federal Reserve, you know he believes it, not because he perused the polls.
Honesty Is the Best Policy
Politicians have never subscribed to the adage: Honesty is the best policy. Instead of uttering this tired trope about evolution, those seeking higher office would garner more sympathy if they were candid:
“Yes, John, it is true that I have opposed [insert policy] for more than 30 years. I am only now against it because the political winds have changed, and the majority of people now support this idea. While I am beginning to come around, my primary motive is to receive more votes, and I can’t do that if I stick to a stance that most don’t agree with.“
Giving such a frank reply would be courageous, though highly unlikely. Would it spell the end of White House aspirations? Or would it be a breath of fresh air that would initiate a new strategy of integrity for the next generation of politicians? Perhaps the nation would be better off if the government passed a law that prohibits fibbing when you’re within 30 feet of Capitol Hill. At least we would never again hear a politician insult our intelligence with lies, damned lies, and clichés.