How to answer questions like a politician

How to answer questions like a politician

VicesApril 12, 2014

For centuries politicians have avoided important questions by ignoring them and talking about whatever they feel like. Why can’t we be on the same footing? It’s time we fight fire with fire and teach you how to answer questions like a politician. With this knowledge, you’ll never have to stand behind your actions ever again. 

1. Stall. Always thank the question asker for asking the question, comment on what a great question it is and how absolutely thrilled you are to have been asked.

Q: What kind of pizza do you want?

A: That’s a great question, and thank you so much for asking. I’m happy that I can be included in this decision. Consulting all parties on the type of pie we order is the first step in creating a better America.

2. Talk about the questioner. Nothing simultaneously frustrates and flatters like forcing a questioner to talk about his or herself by posing personal questions.

Q: What can I do for you?

A: You’re quite curious. It’s imperative we raise the next generation with that sort of curiosity to help resolve the issues that affect the youth of America every day. Were you a middle or youngest child? Tell me about your parents.

3. Talk around the question. Whatever you do, don’t answer any questions. Your goal is to confuse the situation and make them forget what they asked.

Q: Can I get you a coffee?

A: The rate at which coffee is consumed in this beautiful country is astounding. Every year billions of roasted beans make their way through customs with very little oversight. As a world super­power we need to ask ourselves, is importing this commodity what we really should be doing? We must think of the children. 

4. Ask questions of your questioner. Nothing makes people feel more inept than being asked a question as an answer. Once you skirt around the answer, ask a question that changes the subject entirely.

Q: Can I buy you a drink?

A: That’s a great question, but before I answer it, I’d like to pose a question of my own. Are you aware that rising global temperatures are causing melting of the snowcaps, making the availability of fresh water in Botswana a critical international issue?

5. Never say, “I don’t know.” If you don’t know, simply talk about something else. Changing the subject is easy if you use buzzwords such as “family” and, “elderly.”

Q: How much should I leave for a tip?

A: Leaving a tip is only customary in North America, as is the custom of sending one’s elderly family members to nursing homes when they reach a certain age. The real point here is that family is the most important thing, and if we do not change our customs to reflect that, I’m afraid we’re walking down a long hallway.

*Bonus tip: use random phrases whenever you can; they befuddle the common folk and make them feel stupid for not knowing what you’re talking about.

6. Keep smiling ... and if you’re told to answer the question, just condescend the person asking it, like it’s sheer stupidity to think you would acknowledge that person’s existence.

Q: I’ve asked you seven times, can you drive me to the show?

A: Let me be clear, what you’re asking is an issue that I care very much about. I must acquiesce that your concern in the matter is relevant, however, currently there are much more pressing issues at hand. 

7. Tangents are your friends. Got a story? Tell it. Have something you’ve been thinking about for a while? Go for it. It doesn’t matter, because as long as you don’t answer the question, you’re good to go.

Q: Should I dye my hair this weekend?

A: Last month on the campaign trail, I ran into a woman not unlike yourself. She brought with her four small children, all of whom were wearing Mickey Mouse T­shirts. I looked at this woman and
knew from the light in her unwashed children’s eyes that these are the faces of America, andthese are the families I work hard for every day to protect.

8. Using quotes in place of tangents is an acceptable way to pepper in some irrelevant authoritative information.

Q: Should I dye my hair this weekend?

A: Franklin D. Roosevelt once said, “The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself.”

9. Be vague and use big words. The devil is in the details, so it’s best to not use any of them unless they’re five syllables long. When asked something specific, answer in generalities, and when asked to comment on generalities, change the subject.

Q: Paper or plastic?

A: I consider myself to be an introspective and astute individual who is easily able discern the gravity of your inquiry. While we may postulate paper is the more progressive choice, we cannot ignore the cold, hard facts that plastics have generated thousands of jobs in the past 50 years.

10. Finish strong. After you’ve walked all around a question, the best way to get out of any situation is to say something nobody can argue with, then turn and walk away. 

Q: Can you help me move this weekend?

A: Moving is something that all Americans must endure in their lifetimes. Sometimes it’s for the better, and other times unfortunate circumstances force us into compromising positions. We are a bold country full of brave individuals, all of whom would lay down their lives to ensure freedom and justice for all.