The Messenger – Are We Poisoning the Well for Good People to Run for Office?

We all have been in that political conversation. The one where we feel like there’s almost zero benefit in getting into your actual perspective — and desperately seeking the path of least resistance to its conclusion. We all know that disgruntled voter armed with talking points from their niche online outlet of choice, but ultimately leading to approximately the same place: “They’re all crooks and liars, but especially the other team.”

I have worked in professional politics for over a decade and am no stranger to the negative stigma that comes with it. When conversing about my profession, I am equally guilty of resorting to sarcasm and self-deprecation to defuse the tension that surrounds the subject of politics and the players involved. I nod along as they express their frustrations and frequently agree with their criticisms: “Politicians are dishonest, and politics can be a cesspool.”

Don’t get me wrong, I understand the criticism. It is not completely baseless.  

Daily — and now almost hourly — there are new stories of corruption, irresponsible stretching of one’s version of the truth, and endless scandal accusations and realities. The media is used to amplify outrage and stoke a vicious cycle of like-minded individuals affirming each other’s shared frustrations. And it works election after election, getting millions of clicks and views. 

The American people are right to be frustrated about the consistently poor quality of our national politics and our inability to solve big problems — let alone make incremental progress.

But have we really thought about the consequences that stem from our mindless arguments, or the validation we are delivering to those who spew it? 

I had not, not really… 

Read the full article by Cygnal Pollster & Director of Client Strategy Chris Lane on The Messenger: