Perhaps this has been happening throughout the last several election cycles and I am just now noticing, but it seems like an alarming number of videos showing candidates dancing or doing something else considered ‘relatable’ have been released in the past few weeks.
I wish the general public would agree with me on an important point: relatability alone does not qualify a candidate for public office.
Yes, it is fun to watch videos of Tulsi Gabbard playing her ukulele while she’s waiting, or to read through Andrew Yang’s tweets. It’s amusing to see candidates dancing, cooking, working out, and doing other normal things. The very awkward attempts to be relatable (like this video of Kirsten Gillibrand) are even funny as well.
If relatability was all the qualification someone should need to run for public office, we would never run out of qualified candidates. However, it is probably the most unimportant thing to look for in a candidate.
What are their public policy platforms? Do candidates support liberty and the Constitution of the United States? Will they dig us deeper into debt?
How about their record? Do they say one thing and then vote the other way? Do lobbyists and special interests control their votes? Do they treat constituents well and genuinely take the time to listen?
What about their attitude and personality? While I know of awful, mean-spirited people who are currently serving in Congress and other elected positions, that shouldn’t be the norm. While politics can attract people hungry for power, we should still hold our elected officials to a standard of professionalism and level-headedness.
There are so many things that are far more important than a candidate being ‘relatable.’ The rush of 2020 candidates trying to prove their relatability just goes to show that we are far too easily impressed. If anything, relatability should be the cherry on top of an already great candidate – not the qualifier itself.
Let’s vote on the issues and based on the record. Let’s vote smarter.