The Democratic campaign against complexity

Source: The New Republic
by Graham Vyse

“‘There it is,’ Jed Bartlet said softly, pointing at his opponent across the presidential debate stage. ‘That’s the ten-word answer my staff’s been looking for for two weeks. There is it is. Ten-word answers can kill you in political campaigns. They’re the tip of the sword. Here’s my question: What are the next ten words of your answer? Your taxes are too high? So are mine. Give me the next ten words. How are we gonna do it? Give me ten after that. I’ll drop outta the race right now.’ It was the fall of 2002, early in the fourth season of NBC’s hit political drama The West Wing, and Martin Sheen’s erudite Democratic president was landing his final, crushing blow against his Republican opponent — a dimwitted southern governor created by writer Aaron Sorkin to evoke George W. Bush. In the real world two years earlier, Al Gore had lost a debate with Bush by appearing condescending.” (09/13/17)