This has been going on for at least two decades, but it reached critical mass with Trump, which has been horribly dangerous.
YOU DON'T NEED POLITICIANS WHO MIRROR YOU.
YOU NEED GOOD ONES.
My current inspiration: recently elected official who can't name the three branches of government properly.
Also: "Is [insert candidate] likable enough?"
IT DOESN'T MATTER. THIS IS AN ACTIVE MEASURE TO HARM OUR SOCIETY.
Listen: there are 325 million Americans, a mere 538 members of Congress - 100 Senators and 438 Reps. One president, one VP, 21 Cabinet members.
THEY NEED TO BE ELITE. REALLY SMART. WISE. KNOWLEDGEABLE. CAPABLE.
They're handling almost 20 trillion dollars of GDP and history's most powerful military.
YOU DON'T NEED TO LIKE THEM OR TO BE COMFORTABLE HAVING A BEER WITH THEM. THEY NEED TO BE GOOD.
Accepting dumbasses in positions of incredible power is what brought this Republic to the brink.
Somebody spits out some pollster-tested phrase, a PR firm pushes it, and we end up with far too many mediocrities and corrupt politicians.
And foreign enemies weaponized this.
They didn't just weaponize it by pushing candidates who have no capacity to govern.
They also pushed us to doubt scientists. So we have people doubting the incredibly obvious global warming and managed to cast doubt on VACCINES.
Vaccinations have been the critical innovation in public health of the last CENTURY and they got a shocking number of people to believe that the experts of immunology and infectious disease didn't know as much as Jenny McCarthy.
As a result, real people are getting hurt by diseases we had conquered - all because of the pernicious, intentional notion that expertise isn't really required to have a valid opinion.
If enough people agree with you, it must be valid, right?
WE NEED TO CUT THIS SHIT OUT IF WE WANT TO SURVIVE THE 21ST CENTURY.
The world's a big and dangerous place, we're inventing advanced technologies, and we need SMART PEOPLE THINKING DEEPLY ABOUT WHAT'S NEXT, OR WE RISK CATASTROPHE.
We need politicians who know how the damn system works before fooling around with that 20 trillion.
We need analysis in the media, for example, that isn't some 26-year old who writes about video games suddenly forming an opinion about Russian intel Ops.
Look, if God forbid you get cancer and you have tumors in your spine, who do you want doing the surgery?
"Oh, not him, he's a wealthy elite who did Harvard Med. He's out of touch. I'd rather a second-year resident from Tuscaloosa Bible Medical School."
All but total fools would be like GET MY ASS TO BOSTON AND GET ME THE BEST SURGEONS YOU GOT!
Well, time to start doing that in politics, media, education and EVERYTHING ELSE.
PRAISE TALENT AND DON'T BE FOOLED BY THIS "LIKEABILITY" HORSESHIT. IT'S DANGEROUS.
To sum up, our enemies foreign and domestic have been pushing on us to accept ignorance and mediocrity at a variety of levels of society.
Let's push back and expect more.
Or we can expect more Trumps. And does that sound likeable?
You can follow @ericgarland.