Today’s post comes from Congressman Loomis Beechly, representing Minnesota’s 9th District – all the water surface area in the state.
I’m delighted to be your Congressman and I hope you still like me too, even though I’ve had no major announcements and nothing of importance to say for the past year or so.
We politicians can Tmake news with our strategic use of words, but sometimes I think it’s a sign of deep wisdom to say nothing at all.
That’s why I have to admire Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, who is in London, England this week trying to limit the discussion of world events to a single topic – cheese.
To me, the Walker visit to Downton Abbey-land is a portrait in courage. Not only do they have those accents that make you feel like a dummy, the British carry with them lots of intimidating history and literature that can make a guy from the American midwest feel inadequate.
Plus, it’s not easy to be in politics here in the age of the internet and instant analysis. As soon as you finish speaking a word, it has already gone around the world twice and is coming up to bite you in the behind.
Silence is strategic. If anything, Governor Walker has already said too much by refusing to say whether or not he believes in evolution.
I’m beginning to think the ideal President for the United States would be a mime.
A mime couldn’t stir up political controversy by using the wrong words, and a mime’s gestures are all subject to interpretation and are eminently spinnable. In struggling to define what they think his shrug over the situation in the Ukraine really meant, analysts would do more damage to themselves than they would to the mime-in-chief.
And when the brickbats really start to fly, he could quickly situate himself behind an impervious pane of glass. Mimes have that power! Which is not to say President Marceau would be untouchable, because all presidents eventually lose their popularity.
The sad truth is that people already kind of hate mimes. So for any of them, being President would be a promotion, reputation-wise.
I know 2016 is still a long way off, but I’m keeping my ear to the ground for the sound of a promising-but-soft footfall from someone who is willing to toss their beret (real or imagined) into the ring!
When is it best to say nothing at all?