My wife and I never talked down to our girls. We spoke to them more or less as we would to adults. No baby-talk. No kootchy-Koo. No quantum physics though—one started getting that in the fourth grade. (I’m serious; she had a really brilliant teacher).

By the time they were five, their command of vocabulary was impressive. They could understand way more than you’d expect.

Maybe part of the reason we Americans are collectively such a bunch of political dummies is because our politicians and newscasters talk down to us—scandalously oversimplifying and dumbing everything down into soundbites.

What would happen if they suddenly started talking like adults—if a fundamental capacity to understand and make informed decisions was assumed, rather than the accepted wisdom of serving up half-truths, spin and manipulation? And what if we all became a little more willing to call them on their BS? I don’t know. I’m not expecting much until this generation of politicians is gone for good.

Frankly, it’s embarrassing and more than a little disturbing watching them go Kootchy-koo on TV. Republicans, Democrats, Liberals, Conservatives…I keep looking around for a lever or a button or a switch that says, none of the above.

Time for a change?

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