Coming Soon to a Congress Near You

BY: Kate Brightwell

Curtain is drawn, the actors are in place, and the show is about to begin.

The show that I am talking about however, is not casting Brad Pitt or Sandra Bullock, but rather Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush (along with several others not yet to be revealed.) Aside from the different characters, though, the show occurring on the political stage is very similar to shows in the box office.

Ronald Reagan once posed the question, “How can a president not be an actor?”

Reagan’s question still holds relevance in today’s political climate. Politics continually ends up looking more like a Shakespearian play than a means of governing, but instead of Montagues and Capulets, we have republicans and democrats. Hopefully, the current congress can make bipartisanship work better than Romeo and Juliette did.

Political stages are crafted much like stages from a movie set. The backdrop is chosen to reflect a message, the lighting is chosen to highlight the characters, and the script is written carefully to reflect the audience.

The 2012 presidential race was a prime example of this theatrical staging. Both parties to ensure that each candidate would be prepared for whatever question was thrown at them carefully rehearsed debates. Image: U.S. President Barack Obama speaks at an election campaign rally in ColumbusAdditionally, the party conventions were the “one spot where everything can be made to serve the message. A politician’s team carefully crafts the entire process to ensure their candidate is painted in the best possible light.

In an article for the Huffington Post, Alex Jones makes the argument that a “credible candidate must be able to act authentic. Not be authentic.” He furthers his argument, by stating that the only time we truly get to see authenticity in politics is during disasters. He cites blunders made by both Al Gore and former President George W. Bush, stating that both of their blunders were due to an inability to act rather than an inability to govern or lack of intelligence.

If this trend of increasing sensationalized politics continues, we will not longer be looking for politics majors in Washington D.C., but rather drama majors will be in increasingly high demand.

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