Tuesday, November 24, 2015
#328 / Amateur Hour
The November 15, 2015 edition of The New York Times Magazine carried an article titled, "Unprofessionals." That was in the print version. Online, the article was titled, "The Cult of the 'Amateur.'"
In the article, Republican Presidential candidate Ben Carson, pictured above, is quoted as supporting an "amateur" approach to politics. His argument? "The ark was built by amateurs. The Titanic was built by professionals."
Actually, that strikes me as a pretty good line. If, after his failed Presidential campaign, Carson moves into standup, and begins appearing at various "Amateur Hour" comedy competitions, he might get some mileage out of that comparison.
This is not to endorse American's favorite neurosurgeon for President. He may be leading in the polls right now (or so we're told), but I don't think he has a prayer of making the "Final Two," or even coming close.
And it's well known that Carson has lots of prayers. I think his "Presidential Prayer" is going to be unanswered. That is my prediction. Let me also say, that is my hope!
Amanda Hess, who wrote the article, makes legitimate fun of Carson, but I do not agree with what may be an implicit suggestion that our politics should be dominated by "professionals."
In fact, it is the so-called "professional politicians" who often provide evidence that Lord Acton was on to something when he talked about the corrupting effects of power. I think intelligence and experience are key, when we select those we choose to represent us, but I wouldn't want us to endorse "meritocracy" as our preferred approach to government.
To the extent that Hess hints at that, I am not sympathetic.
Democracy will do just fine, as far as I am concerned.