The importance of acting in politics

I was picking on Scott Adams earlier so I think it’s only fair to point out when he has an interesting idea. Adams writes:

Before Ronald Reagan became governor of California, and then president of the United States, people wondered if an actor could become a good politician. It’s no surprise that actors are excellent at campaigning and giving speeches. But lately I [Adams] have noticed that acting is becoming the most important skill involved in policy too. Let’s look at some examples.

1. The U.S. acts as though it doesn’t have permission from Pakistan to attack Al Qaeda on Pakistani soil. The government of Pakistan has to publicly complain about it and threaten vague consequences to be seen as defending its sovereignty.

2. The U.S. has to act as though the Israelis and Palestinians can come up with a workable peace plan if they try hard enough.

3. Republican politicians that don’t agree with the main party lines have to act as though they do or else face consequences.

4. Donald Trump acted as though he was seriously considering running for president. The media acted as though they believed him.

5. Democrat politicians have to act as though the rich are a bunch of immoral tax dodgers that are the main cause of the budget problem, as opposed to the main source of funding. . . .

I don’t know how new this all is, but it’s still an interesting way of looking at things.

4 Responses to The importance of acting in politics

  1. Fr. June 3, 2011 at 9:26 am #

    I’d say it’s old wine, but new bottles are always entertaining.

  2. matt w June 4, 2011 at 11:19 am #

    Dear Mr. Adams: “Democratic politicians,” and yes, the main cause of the budget problem is the tax cuts Bush gave to the rich (as well as the recession and the ongoing wars). You could look it up.

  3. Jennifer K June 5, 2011 at 12:54 pm #

    Some of my students have inquired as to whether or not drama classes are necessary in order to do well in politics. I tell that, perhaps, only a public speaking class is necessary. I’m beginning to reconsider . . .

    -JK

    “All the world’s a stage,
    And all the men and women merely players;
    They have their exits and their entrances,
    And one man in his time plays many parts,
    His acts being seven ages.”

    -William Shakespear, As You Like It

  4. Manuel Moe G June 9, 2011 at 10:03 pm #

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kayfabe (pronounced kayfayb)

    http://edge.org/response-detail/1669/what-scientific-concept-would-improve-everybodys-cognitive-toolkit

    Strangely, ex-wrestler Governor of Minnesota Jesse Ventura seems loath to play by rules of USA two-party kayfabe.