While watching a debate on the Charlie Rose show between Fareed Zakaria and Drew Westen over Obama’s leadership (or lack thereof), I observed – much to my own dismay- as Zakaria intellectually bailed out of the argument.
Zakaria said something to the effect that he’s grown tired of hearing arguments about politics from people who “never so much as ran for dogcatcher”. He was talking about Westen.
This is the long belabored , beleaguered, argument of people who have no intellectual safe haven to speak of. It is the retreat of people who are losing an argument, and the formula goes as follows: If your experience is in the private sector, just say that the other guy can’t grow jobs because he has no private sector experience. If your experience lies in government, just say that the other guy can’t do the job because he doesn’t have any Hill experience. And if you’re anti-professor or anti-teacher, just print a bumper sticker which says, “those that can, do and those that can’t, teach.” It’ll get you a sh*load of “woo-hoos” from people in your comfy little echo chamber. Problem is, it’s just not true.
In a democracy, we’re all critics and most of us never so much as ran for dogcatcher. So what? A good idea can come from anywhere if you’re open enough to hear it just as a bad idea can very well come from your own little snug cloister.
Being a member of a particular demographic, be it private sector employees or careerist politicians, doesn’t have the final word on whether an idea is good or bad. Zakaria would do well to keep that in mind during future debates. He should also keep in mind that he’s “never so much as ran for dogcatcher” either.
- Fareed Zakaria: As Democrats ‘Mirror Stubbornness And Extremism Of Tea Party’ Super Committee Will Deadlock (mediaite.com)
- Fareed Zakaria: Grow Up, Liberals! (crooksandliars.com)