Thursday, May 12, 2022

anti-theatricality 39 of ????

George F. Will suggests a constitution to bar senators from the presidency, because the Twitterized nature of politics today breeds stagemen rather than statesmen

"The federal government’s growth, and the national media’s focus on Washington, has increased the prominence of senators eager for prominence, although it often is the prominence of a ship’s figurehead — decorative, not functional. As president-centric government has waxed, the Senate has waned, becoming increasingly a theater of performative behaviors by senators who are decreasingly interested in legislating, and are increasingly preoccupied with using social media for self-promotion.

"In Jonathan Haidt’s recent essay for the Atlantic, “Why the Past 10 Years of American Life Have Been Uniquely Stupid,” the New York University social psychologist says social media users by the millions have become comfortable and adept at “putting on performances” for strangers. So have too many senators. Haidt says social media elicits “our most moralistic and least reflective selves,” fueling the “twitchy and explosive spread of anger.”

"The Founders feared such incitements, long before social media arrived. Politicians, and especially senators with presidential ambitions and time on their hands, use social media to practice what Alexander Hamilton deplored (in Federalist 68) as “the little arts of popularity.” "

These breeds Presidential candidates who "have never run anything larger than a Senate office. Who have confused striking poses — in the Capitol, on Twitter — with governing.... Congressional members of the president’s party behave as his subservient teammates; members of the opposing party act as reflexive opposers. This changes the role of the House, whose members are generally not so telegenic and are more regimented, less than it does the role of the Senate, which degenerates into an arena of gestures, hence an incubator of would-be presidents."

Trump was "the first politician to master the new dynamics" of the social media performance era "in which outrage is the key to virality, stage performance crushes competence...."


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anti-theatricality 39 of ????

George F. Will suggests a constitution to bar senators from the presidency, because the Twitterized nature of politics today breeds stageme...