Once upon a time being a politician was a serious job description. Today, being a politician is being a celebrity wannabe. Presidents, Prime-Ministers, Ministers, Members of Parliament, Mayors and other kind of civil servants, lead a parallel life on Social Media, making thus a mockery of the Art of Governance. Online, they make political comments, they attack co-workers, they make stupid statements, they express their racism, threaten journalists, act as jesters, and reveal their darkest side.
Politicians are not alone in this because reporters do the same (having a couple of them even lost their jobs due to nasty exchanges on Twitter); however, since most reporters' income does not stem from tax payer funds, their behaviour online is not our concern; on the other hand, because tax payers support politicians we have the right to question their behaviour.
Modern life is very demanding and the use of technology in politics is welcome, but when we talk about Social Media (SM) in the Political Universe we understand it as a vehicle to receive political clarifications more quickly, as opposed to have to watch Parliament TV (or any other similar conduit). This degree of SM usage is to stay at the professional level not personal:
- Is it proper for politicians to share their bikini, or nude, pics on their Facebook (FB) account?
- Is it proper for them to spew their racism on their Twitter or FB account?
- Is it proper for politicians to threaten violence against journalists (like the Portuguese now former Minister of Culture, João Soares, who last week, in his FB account, “promised to hunt down” two columnists and “slap them”)?
- Is it proper for them to use SM to incite racism, hatred, violent nationalism etc?
- Is it proper for politicians to use FB to express their cowardice by talking about those they work with behind their back (like a Portuguese Socialist MP, Isabel Moreira [the above bikini and semi-nude girl], who used her FB account to shame a colleague who had miffed her live on TV)?
- Is it proper for politicians to use Social Media to express their utter ignorance about Terrorism (e.g. blaming right wing policies for its existence [Miguel Tiago])?
- Is it proper for them to compete on SM to see who is the most ignorant and vile of all?
Why did such individuals join politics in the first place? Obviously, it was not to serve the People, but to serve their own interests – rotten interests. And the worst of it all is that these so-called civil servants are so distracted by SM that they fail to do their job properly. Furthermore, these folks spend so much time on Social Media that they don't even bother to educate themselves on basic items like the Arab-Israeli Conflict, preferring instead to go after the crowd they follow online and repeat the same venomous lies that BDS Hooligans repeat over and over again – which explains the silly EU nonsensical guidelines and stance regarding the only Beacon of Light in the Middle East; and the terrorist attacks against European targets.
Therefore, what we witness today is people's id rejecting in absolute terms the mediation of Ego (which, according to Freud, abides to the reality principle) – immediate gratification is their commandment.
(..) most of [id] is of a negative character and can be described only as a contrast to the ego. We approach the id with analogies: we call it a chaos, a cauldron full of seething excitations. ... It is filled with energy reaching it from the instincts, but it has no organization, produces no collective will, but only a striving to bring about the satisfaction of the instinctual needs subject to the observance of the pleasure principle. - Sigmund Freud
Any politician worthy of that name should either use Social Media for professional purposes only or close all his/her accounts all together. We want to believe we elect rational people to manage our state affairs, but unfortunately SM is revealing the lowest side of the elected and then we wonder why people are disconnected from politics: who wants to elect an opinionated, over exposed, vulgar individual to legislate our lives? Irony has it, however, that by abdicating from their right, and duty, to engage in politics and to vote they end up by putting low people in Power.
(Image: What people won't do for money - Adriaen van de Venne)