The ascendancy of Trumpmerica has brought about it a belief that we have entered a new era in American politics where a politician is no longer shackled by the rules of political correctness and will finally be willing to “tell it like it is”.
But is that what is actually happening here? Or have people confused “telling it like it is” with “things I want to hear”? Here is a simple test to determine the difference.
The next time you hear a politician say something and you think to yourself “That politician is telling it like it is” ask yourself these questions about his or her comments.
Do you completely agree with the statement?
If you find the statement to be completely accurate and agree with it in its entirety then you can confidently sat that the politician isn’t “telling it like it is” but is rather “telling you what you want to hear” It doesn’t take any political courage to tell people what they want to hear. That is the definition of pandering. While it is always easier to believe that there is a secret cabal of globalist elites that are oppressing you the globalist elites are largely indifferent to you.
Is it providing a simple answer to a complex problem?
Is the statement offering a single sentence answer to poverty or immigration? No, building a wall isn’t going to solve our immigration policy. Neither is “rounding up” all the illegals. Solving illegal immigration is going to require changes that people aren’t going to like on both sides. Saying that changing our regulations will bring back coal is not just pandering it is irresponsible
Are people not like you offended by it?
As you are nodding and agreeing with the comment, are other people getting really upset about it? That isn’t “telling it like it is” either. That is, you guessed it, pandering to a demographic group. Blaming the first African-American President for racism in this country isn’t “telling it like it is”. It’s ignoring our history so you can blame someone that you don’t identify with for problems that have existed for hundreds of years.
Does it demand sacrifices from others but not you?
This is an ever popular one. Is the politician telling you that they are going to solve a major problem by making someone else pay for it? Is the politician promising that the Mexicans will build a wall they don’t care about? Is the politician promising that the super wealthy will magically pay for a universal health care system? This is the very essence of populist pandering. You get something you want and you don’t have to pay for it! Who doesn’t love that. If only this were ever true. Major changes require sacrifices from us all.
I hope this simple guide has helped you understand the difference between honesty and pandering and how “telling it like it is” is complete and utter nonsense perpetuated by those that are completely uninterested in hearing the truth.