Monday, December 18, 2017

The Big Reveal

I’ve just finished listening to this week’s Elevate Maryland podcast. Co-hosts Tom Coale and Candace Dodson Reed have been working their way through the ample field of Democratic hopefuls for Governor in the next election. This episode features the County Executive of Baltimore County, Kevin Kamenetz.

There are so many good podcasts out there these days. I have found that I really need to focus when listening to Elevate Maryland because it’s too easy for me to get mentally distracted and let my mind wander. This is not something you can just let wash over you, like an amiable human interest story on NPR. You need to pay attention to get all the good bits.

So, good teacher that I am, I created a listening hack for myself.

Okay, it’s an auditory car bingo. But it works. I need a visual to keep my brain on track so it doesn’t hare off into the land of multiple to-do lists. Call it an educational support, if you will.

About Mr. Kamenetz. While I found his stands on most of the issues to be reasonable, there was something else on display that I found troubling. There’s a vein of arrogance that runs through his interview that concerns me.

I fear nothing so much as a man who is witty all day long. - - Madame de Sévigné

I have a deep distrust of men who ‘know everything’. - - Me

Not to belittle any of Kamenetz’s actual accomplishments, but white men who ‘know everything’ are a dime a dozen in American politics and are, in many ways, why we are where we are today. Mr. Kamenetz is all about himself. There’s very little intellectual give-and-take in this interview. And there’s certainly no sense of sharing the spotlight with others.

If you want to know where this interview went off the rails for me, it’s when he gets asked about the large field of candidates running. His response is breathtaking in its dismissiveness of other Democrats. Once he put that out there, it colored everything else he said. There’s clearly a sense that he thinks they should let ‘the big boys’ dominate the playing field and get out of his way.

Perhaps that will appeal to some people. He knows he’s selling something. He’s the product. It’s all about him, and selling enough voters on the Kamenetz brand to make the big gamble worthwhile. But, from my point of view, “ain’t nobody got time for that.”

Should one interview on a podcast be all the research necessary to evaluate Kevin Kamenetz? Certainly not. But I suspect that this particular interview is far more informative than he realized.

Listen for yourself.

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