Wednesday, February 04, 2009

What If Presidents Talked Like Normal People?

I must say it was refreshing to see the President of the United States showing up on the news to say, "I screwed up" on his imploding pick for the Health Department. Presidents have always had a problem with being frank with the American people. I understand there are top secrets you can't blurt out during a news conference, but Presidents (along with most leaders, bureaucrats, and corporate heads in general) eventually either put on or are swallowed by their Head of State costume and end up spouting Official Statements.

Frankly, I think we'd be much better off if the President carried on a perpetual, ongoing conversation with us about his job -- in TV and YouTube appearances, speeches, press conferences, emails, Twitter or Facebook messages, whatever. Err on the side of telling us everything that doesn't absolutely have to be kept secret. Tell us what your thought process is rather than presenting us with the Party Line after it's done. Definitely give us soaring rhetoric when we need to be inspired and mobilized, but much more often give us your candid thoughts. And when you screw up, come out immediately and tell us, "I screwed up." We know you're actually human and we can handle it.

What a democratic place this would be.

UPDATE (March 17 2017):  Well it took nine years but my fantasy of a President who tweets everything he thinks has finally happened. And it ain't pretty.

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