Politicians really are a class all their own.
That’s not a good thing.
Even politicians who famously start their careers straight out of a blue-collar life find themselves dragged into the bubble of political culture: seeing mainly other politicians, speaking mainly with other politicians, caring mainly about what other politicians think.
Eventually, this seems to happen to all of them.
Sorry, AOC; if you stay there long enough, it will probably happen to you too.
But it doesn’t have to.
To avoid this, here’s something we should do: every elected official should be required to spend at least 1 hour a week, in-person and in front of a live camera, talking to a randomly-selected constituent about whatever the constituent chooses.
Personally, I’d make it 1 hour a day; I don’t think that’d be too much for them to manage and this is important. But 1 hour a week would at least be a start.
You wanna vote for people you can have a beer with? Fine.
Hell, let the constituent choose the drinks too.
It’d be like jury duty.
For the constituents, it’d be a duty you could get called for once a year: meet with this representative for an hour; maybe have a drink; talk about whatever you think is important.
Your job is to keep them grounded, and to make sure that they can’t duck out on addressing any issues you think are important.
It’s the in-person conversation that’s important.
And having to talk with a constituent, rather than talking at a crowd.
Oh, and the camera is important too; run it on each district’s local web site, put it on local TV, show highlights of each week’s recordings on C-SPAN for the national politicians.
I’d watch it every week.
Well, an edited highlights show; let’s not go nuts. In just the legislative chain, I’m represented by a county commisioner, a state assemblyperson, a state senator, a congressperson and two federal senators (only the two federal senators are women). There’s also a sherrif, a governor (and lieutenant), a president (and vice), and a whole slew of special districts and directly-elected officials.
That’d be waaaay to much TV for me.