1: Acceptance of the political answer to the question that wasn't asked.
Remember the old joke about the teacher who asks a student, "if you have 5 apples and you eat 2, how many do you have left?" only to have the kid say, "I don't like apples so I wouldn't eat any." ? If you've been watching any press conferences, you probably have wondered if Sarah Huckabee Sanders was that kid.
And while that would be an understandable reaction, the truth is you can see this evasion every day on every channel coming out of the mouths of people from every side who don't want to admit something unpleasant or answer something difficult. And it isn't new. This tactic has been going on for decades or longer.
And as citizens we accept this as a norm. Why? I would love to see interviewers who get an answer like this stop the interview and say, "until you answer the question I asked, we aren't going any further." and if the guest tries to fill the silent air time with anything other than an answer, they should be muted. AND it shouldn't matter WHO does it. And if it happens during a press conference, reporters should stick to a tactic of continuing to ask the same question, even if the press secretary moves to another person, until it is answered.
2: Allowing the President to accrue more autonomous executive power.
This too is NOT solely a "Trump Issue"! This started slowly under various presidents from both parties for decades, with the worst offenders being Clinton, Bush2, Obama, & now Trump. These folks, from BOTH parties slowly let the genie out of the bottle and now it's getting harder to stuff him back in.
Our Founding Fathers were careful to establish a government where, while the executive branch had the ability to make things happen, mainly in times of crisis when a quick decision needed to be made, most things required Congressional approval. After King George III, no one wanted another monarch. But we are heading that way.
One of the reasons this came about was the growing polarity in politics that made compromise and cooperation obsolete and replaced it with stubborn bi-partisan stonewalling. In order to get ANYTHING done, presidents began to use executive orders more frequently.........but it's a bad way to go. Which brings us to:
You have heard a LOT about this one lately, and I recently saw someone who agrees with my take on this.......but maybe for different reasons:
While I like a lot of what Noah says, I would like to take it a step further and say that public 'incivility' should encompass both sides. Folks with extreme views on the left should be just as apt to be publicly shamed as those on the right. It should get to a point where NO politician is cozy and safe unless they are actively working for compromise solutions to get things done. Let it become unbearable to be anything but a moderate voice with disparities in ideology being actively worked out rather than stubbornly stuck to in some ridiculous, 'pure' form.
And if such a thing came about, THEN Congress could get back to productive work regardless of who held a majority of seats, AND no one would need to resort to the very risky policy of just handing over more unchecked authority to a president......ANY president.
The funny thing is the way things are now, my arguments are already agreed to......in halves! If I said, "Obama went too far with executive orders" folks on the right would cheer, but if I said the same thing about Bush or Trump they'd be less agreeable. If I said "yeah, go harass that administration official!" I'd likely get agreement from whatever party was NOT the focus of the harassment. The thing is maybe this polarized view coming from US is the real problem? Maybe being a public with extreme positions and a reluctance to compromise is why we have representatives who, because they want our votes, are less likely to compromise? And maybe we accept evasive answers as a norm, and are willing to throw truth on the scrap heap because we know deep down, we can't even be honest about ourselves?