Lori Falce: Washington has ADHD
My son is smart and hilarious and almost criminally lazy.
He also has ADHD, which means that he is a never-ending fountain of ideas.
“I want to be a paleontologist engineer so I can create Jurassic Park but like safe so nobody gets eaten by velociraptors.”
“Could you do time travel in your head if you just hypnotized yourself into it?”
“Cellphones should be solar powered.”
What he is short on is follow- through. He can’t organize his thoughts in a way that starts with the idea, comes up with a plan, gets together everything he needs and then performs the task. He is all ignition and no navigation. He is a race car without a steering wheel.
I think he’s going to be a politician. Washington is currently packed to the gills with people who are all idea and no plan.
Don’t get me wrong. Some of the ideas are awesome. Just like my son’s concept of a waffle that’s also a grilled cheese sandwich that’s also a pizza.
But some of the ideas? Well, they need some work. And this isn’t a partisan critique.
On the one hand, Republicans keep saying they want to repeal and replace Obamacare but despite years of criticism that they are all repeal and no replace, they are trying it again with zero ideas about how to do it other than “trust me.”
Meanwhile, the Democrats have great pies in their skies. Yes, it would be fantastic if college was free. And if health care was free. And if no one was poor. And if we could erase all of the negative impact human beings have had on the planet. Okay, now tell me how. Go ahead. No, really, tell me. I’m waiting.
The idea grabs attention. It’s the the headline. It’s the fun part. It’s the brainstorming without criticism and consequence. It’s the part people with ADHD nail.
What comes next is getting the 11-year-old to sit down and do his homework. It’s a math problem where you have to show your work, not just what you think the answer is. And that’s not fun. We know that.
But you know what, Washington? That’s supposed to be the job. It’s not just sound bites and interviews on Sunday morning talk shows or with your favorite friendly talking head who won’t challenge you on what you haven’t figured out yet. No one wants to do the work, though.
So clearly my son is destined for an office at the Capitol. I’m just warning you all in advance. He’s going to have some great ideas. Big ones. Fantastic ones. You’re going to be amazed.
Just don’t ask him what comes next.
And if one of those ideas is a park full of giant robot dinosaurs, I wouldn’t necessarily trust that all the bugs were worked out in development. He might skip that step. He’s more of an idea guy.
Lori Falce is a Tribune-Review community engagement editor. You can contact Lori at email@example.com.