The art of question dodging is an art politicians have been trained to perform for ages. It seems more and more people want straight answers, but why don’t they give it to us?
With our current two party system, politicians are usually in a difficult spot. Of course they have their own opinions and answers as does every citizen, but they must satisfy the views of whichever party they’re running for to actually make it. Therein lies a problem with the dominating two party system: they have to say what they think the party wants them to say.
In addition to that, everything a politician says is up to scrutiny by journalists, media, and citizens alike. Giving a straight answer is like jumping into crocodile infested waters; they are completely vulnerable to those that disagree.
Debate consultant Brett O’Donnell is an expert on a question dodging technique called “the pivot,” who says it’s used 60 to 70 percent of the time by politicians. “The pivot is a way of taking a question that might be on a specific subject, and moving to answer it on your own terms,” O’Donnell says.
The result? The American people aren’t and can’t really be sure of a running candidates’ views.
Voters’ faith in politics and government diminishes every time a politician dodges a question. “Fewer than three-in-ten Americans have expressed trust in the federal government in every major national poll conducted since July 2007 – the longest period of low trust in government in more than 50 years,” says the Pew Research Center.
If politicians don’t start getting a whiff of citizens’ distaste in their “answers,” we may be seeing the beginnings of a revolution.