Monday, July 25, 2022

It Gets Worse Here Every Day

Adding to this, there are aspects of politics which of course *do* matter, and I am not in denial about those things. All the talk about "voters like a guy they want to have a beer with" isn't wrong in general, even if the specific details are often hilariously wrong as they are communicated by Ivy League weirdos imagining what appeals to Real America.

It isn't wrong that those things matter. Many things about candidates are unknowable, and while those things don't actually matter much for jobs in the legislature, they do matter for executive positions. Unclear ways we form impressions of "trust" and "seems like a good guy" aren't off base! But a big problem with political journalism generally is a tendency to emphasize those things, not just to acknowledge the reality that they do matter but to actively convey that these are the things that should matter

Only Political Wonks and Advanced Politics Knowers Care About Policy, say a bunch of wonks and journalists who spend most days publicly obsessed with political gossip and trivialities.