Daily Archives: April 19, 2020

Modern Politics: Personality vs. Policy

One of the most intensely talked about topics in modern America is politics. Undeniably, political activism now seems to be everywhere and our day-to-day life has more political overtones than ever before. As a result, few areas of society are immune to the 24-7 political theatre playing out coast to coast. Some critics complain that America’s political process is now viewed mostly as an end in itself, as opposed to a means to an end.

Interestingly…media fascination with political personalities has helped spark the growing political frenzy. As opposed to sober policy analysis, focusing on personality ensures that politics will retain an edgy quality that’s sure to enthrall.

Even though the media’s focus on political personalities has grown of late, does that mean most voters are immune to voting on political policy? Maybe not. In actuality, many voters still vote based on political policy and its philosophical implications. Tellingly, those who vote on policy have a point system of priorities that influences their voting. In addition, even though social pressure is strong to dislike or even hate opposing political parties, many Americans have respect for certain features and politicians from both political parties.

A key policy in modern politics that forms an umbrella over many other issues is the ongoing debate between globalism and the nation-state. And yes, on the issues that are influenced by this debate, there’s much disagreement over policy particulars. However, amongst many voters, there are overlapping ideas that seek a balance between the extremes. After all, just as the burgeoning organic food industry reflects a need for local influences, many feel that respect for a nation-state, with its history and constitution, helps maintain some local control on the global stage. Likewise, in defense of aspects of globalism, its been noted that international trade, and the resulting influence it has in creating a cross-pollination of ideas that result in a melting pot, has benefit for all.

By shifting the focus towards personality, political operatives have succeeded in mounting smear campaigns against politicians. As a result, its now hard to truly debate complex issues such as globalism. Smear campaigns on both sides of the political aisle often now supersede political policy analysis. In line with this, its been noted that President Trump’s style is often abrasive against political opponents that attempt to smear him. Although some try to just blame Trump for abrasive politics, its obvious that Trump has had to face personal attacks that encompass everything from his appearance, to family history. And likewise, many Democrats are also victims of personal attacks. And on it goes on a daily basis.

Ironically, the complexity of modern life demands that policy still be a main focus with political debate. Without actual policy analysis, we may start to feel lost and confused due to the increasingly high-tech nature of our expansive bureaucracies. Although it’s tempting to view politics as tawdry and salacious theatre, we can’t ignore the fact that policy is still the core of America’s political process.