Have you ever gotten the feeling that adolescents are running this country? Like that time when the president went on a late night talk show to perform a rap song about student loans?
How did we get from George Washington and Abraham Lincoln and FDR to MC Obama-diddy? (Should we blame Nixon and Clinton for setting a bad precedent?) I dunno. I always cringe when I see the Commander-in-Chief clowning around with the likes of Letterman or Leno as if he were promoting his latest hit single instead leading the free world. Nothing against light night talk shows, it's just---the president should act like the PRESIDENT, not a pop star. Period.
Are we voters to blame? Has our culture so infantilized that we now demand not only to be led but also entertained by our leaders? And have our politicians responded in kind, by acting more childish and less serious? Maybe.
I can't envision Romney doing a rap song on TV, but he did, famously, sing America the Beautiful to all those retirees down in Florida--depending on how you look at it, that was either a marvelous outburst of patriotism, or else nothing more than an age-appropriate (and less ridiculous) version of the youth-pandering stunt Obama pulled on Jimmy Fallon's show. For the record, I'll take an America The Beautiful-singing president over a student loan-rapping president any day.
Statesmanship does entail a kind of theater. And politicians are performers--of a kind. The best of them have power to captivate us, and move us with words. I'm talking about Churchill's "Finest Hour" speech, FDR's "Day that will live in infamy", MLK's "I Have a Dream," and Reagan's call to "Tear Down this Wall."
Question: Why do you think Reagan, who actually was a Hollywood star, seems to be one of the few modern, TV-era presidents who truly understood how to be relatable and presidential at the same time?