“Just laugh. We’ll laugh on November 22,” Caroline van der Plas said Saturday during the BBB party conference. She referred to the cynicism that prevailed in the House of Representatives during general political reflections. Or well, sarcasm? She played her colleagues as an accomplished comedian. “Secondly, I have often indicated that we will not burden our program with the Central Bank of China, because the People’s Bank of China will calculate the cost of all of this, and we really want…,” she said.
Elegant setting, perfect speech, smiling audience. There are few politicians with as good comedic timing as Van der Plas. In fact, there are few comedians with such good timing. And I mean it. I don’t mean: Oh, how stupid and how funny. I mean she really mastered it. An amateur might deliver the punchline as a punchline: “At all costs!” and then wait for the laughs. A good comedian knows that it’s fun to pretend you don’t understand what’s funny. Just keep talking and look around the room in surprise when the audience starts laughing.
It was done perfectly. The joke focused all the attention on Van der Plas and her – somewhat shaky – theory that the Chinese Communist Party’s calculations are inadequate for testing the viability of the party’s programmes. However, the Council’s laughter was interpreted in most media as laughter, which is also what Van der Plas intended. She maneuvers herself into the position of the underdog, and she knows how important that is in the run-up to the election.
We’ve known since 2003 that we like to vote for the underdog in the Netherlands. In our search for a national ideal, we have widely chosen the fool Gamay rather than the demigod Jim. Jama’i received at least 75 percent of the votes. He was very happy about it, but the consequences were very painful; In the international version of the programme, in which winners from eleven different countries competed against each other, the Netherlands came in last place. After his portrayal of Elton Jones Sorry, it seems like it’s the hardest Jamai was criticized by the World Idol judges: “There is nothing unique about your voice.” You are nothing more than a good amateur. what are you doing here?’
It’s easy to understand cheering for the underdog at talent shows or sports games. The unexpected winner is the one who moves, and that’s what Hollywood movies are made of. The more political reporting resembles entertainment or sports reporting, the greater the underdog advantage. In 2011, Donald Trump was mocked by President Barack Obama during a Correspondents’ Dinner. The political elite laughed in his face and he was cast in the role of the underdog. There is no doubt that it contributed to his victory in the presidential elections in 2016.
The underdog is allowed to play the game dirtier. Everyone knows that NEC cannot stand alone against Feyenoord with their brilliant combination football. Wasting time and annoying violations are necessary to have a chance. We can expect more class from a large dog. As far as I’m concerned, everyone has the right to enjoy the benefits of being the underdog for a while, including Caroline van der Plas. But if your condition changes, you should also step away from this role. We cannot allow anyone to continue to challenge authority indefinitely. At a certain point you power yourself. We have seen in the United States what happens when a senior figure constantly acts like an underdog.
Finished by the author
Thomas Hoegeling is a writer and this summer a columnist for De Volkskrant. Columnists are free to express their opinions and do not have to abide by the rules of journalistic objectivity. Read our guidelines here.
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