EP 338 Are You Among the Growing Legion of Political Hobbyists?

Okay, so you watch a lot of cable news, chime in with your political take on Twitter or Facebook, text witty banter back and forth with friends during an impeachment hearing and give an occasional donation to a political candidate, there’s a name for that. It’s called being a political hobbyist. Don’t worry, I admit to being one, too, in this podcast. We’re more likely than not to be college educated men over a certain age who satisfy our own emotional and intellectual curiosities by doing so. What we’re not doing is having any real impact in a true political context. And in fact while we channel surf, vent, and give a few bucks, people in the trenches of politics–doing the hard work of organizing, canvassing and staying focused–are winning the game and probably blunting our own political desires. Tufts political science professor, Eitan Hersh, in his book ‘Politics is for Power’ describes us to the ‘T’ and admits to being one of us. Yet, he has great respect for those who do the hard work of politics, with intent, in order to make real change. So, hobbyists, voyeurs, tourists and bystanders, take a listen and then, perhaps, go out and do something. Or as trickster Edward Abbey, famously quipped “saving the world is only a hobby. Most of the time I do nothing’.