4Star Politics: Laughter could go a long way in Washington, D.C.

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Politics, baseball and the movies. The three topics merge on this week’s episode of 4Star Politics.

Former Kansas Congressman and Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman joins FOX4’s John Holt and Kansas City Star Editorial Board member Dave Helling to talk about his political past, compromising on Capitol Hill and his new book Laughing at Myself.

Glickman said he started his public career with a seat on the Wichita School Board. Then the Democrat ran for congress. After losing his congressional seat in 1994, President Clinton nominated him to be his Secretary of Agriculture. Glickman credits Republican, and former Kansas Senator, Bob Dole for the job.

“Those were the days when Democrats and Republicans could still get along and talk to each other. It’s hard to believe he [Dole] was the guy who pushed my nomination through,” Glickman said.

Glickman credits humor with his success in all aspects of his life. He said it’s something he learned from his parents.

“My mother and father both had great senses of humor. Self-deprecating humor. Different kinds of humor,” Glickman said. “I saw the way the operated their lives. They made humor a central part of the way they dealt with people.”

“Where did that go in Washingon?” Helling asked. “It seems like the lack of humor to me is the most striking thing. No one has a sense of humor about himself or herself. Where did that go?”

“I largely agree,” Glickman said. “Particularly self-deprecating humor. I don’t mean to be bipartisan but whenever President Trump tried to be funny it was always at the expense of somebody else. Whereas when Bob Dole would be funny it was usually because he was making a joke about himself or someone else, but not to hurt somebody in that process.”

Glickman said that he believes part of it is because of fear that if someone says something that might be politically incorrect, someone will have caught it on video and it will be on social media forever.

“It’s not everywhere. There’s a lot of places where members still work together on, but it is more rare than it used to be,” Glickman said. “I think it’s the fear of looking weak. Honestly sometimes telling a joke on yourself or having that kind of sense of humor, there’s a perception of weakness not strength. That you always have to be in attack mode.”

The art of compromise and listen are two other things that are missing in politics too, according to Glickman.

“The art of listening is another factor that is not as prevalent as it should be. But to listen means that you’ve actually got to hear what somebody says and that’s something that fewer politicians subscribe to that theory than they used to,” Glickman said.

Watch the full episode of 4Star Politics in the above video player.

FOX4 and The Kansas City Star are partnering to bring you 4Star Politics, a special digital venture with new episodes released Wednesdays at 5 p.m.

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