The Surprising Humanity of the Political Broadcast
by Tatti Ribeiro
November 26, 2018
EL PASO – Beto O'Rourke's Election Night Headquarters, 2018 – Southwest University Park.
2018 pushed a new crop of politicians towards DC [Ocasio-Cortez, O'Rourke, Omar]. Candidates were able to convince constiuents who previously neglected elections to show up and cast a ballot. They were unique but shared a singular quality: an air of normality that put people at ease. It changed the perception of politicians as catagorically other to human.
Civics is about how people participate in their own governments, which must continue beyond election season.
There's something missing from the broadcast that exists abundantly in person –a shocking amount of humanity.
And while it's obviously not a reporter's job to remind their audience, mid-delivery, that behind the cameraman is a frantic knot of wires that blew out the stadium's AV system, or that before they told you who was up by what percent, they panicked for food ate three hot-dogs, it is settling to witness. It does somehow confirm that your participation is as valid as anyone else's. The reminder of shared chaos, confusion, and unknowingness is welcome because it opens up the story of our political work and our democracy. The pedestel does not exist. Everything belongs to the collective us. Elections, politicians, and the news. Yes, Beto's Election Night was a close-up of a candidate who empowered, and the people he ignited. But it was also messy, and most noticeably showed levity. To look around bordered on funny, even in tensity, because one can't separate the person from the professional when it's two feet from your face.
It was another reminder of the innate equality of people. Don't be intimidated from showing up or into thinking there's anything bigger or more important than your own voice.