GoverningAfter a chaotic four years of the previous administration in the United States, it is good that boring is back in the White House. Sustained chaos and crisis is not good, leaving the nation in a mess, its citizens unsure of who and what to believe and everyone feeling exhausted and fearful. Boring is necessary for good governance, says John Dickerson in an article (“Boring is Better;” January 20, 2021). in The Atlantic:
Such a presidency would return the executive branch to its role of informing the public. Briefings, charts, and a parade of forgettable public officials can explain to the citizens of the country—or, more likely, their representatives in the press—what is being done in their name. America showed a distinct preference for this approach during the pandemic. Governors who simply laid out what they knew became heroes. Anthony Fauci inspired such blooming affection throughout the land by explaining what he knew—and where he’d been wrong—that people planted signs thanking him in front of their azalea bushes.We always need good governing, but now it is imperative. It will be an uphill climb for awhile, and take much work and effort. It has already begun. President Biden has started the process to put America and its people on steady ground. He seems to have surrounded himself with a good team, including Vice President Harris, which time will show was a very wise and astute choice.
The public craves information. This is the basic lesson of CDC guidelines and emergency-management books: Information, even when it ultimately proves flawed, gives people a sense of control over their lives.
As we saw during the Trump administration, holding a press conference is not the same as informing the public. It is possible, it turns out, to achieve a net reduction in public knowledge with a press conference. Instead, a boring administration must put governing ahead of campaigning, using information to instruct, educate, and build on accumulated knowledge, and not to spin and create a politically favorable refuge.