Thursday, June 07, 2007

It's Personal and It's Political: Picking A President

So I'm over at Conservative Grapevine, my daily stop to see what's up , when I see, yet again, that it's not the political that's getting the attention, it's the personal, i.e. Kissing For Men 101. Evidently, everyone is interested in dating (all colors, too) and kissing and breasts and small penises and bathing suits and the morality of it all. Oh, and male bashing, men, for some silly reason, don't like it.

This is not scientific--bees and Hilliary Clinton's communist impulses received lots of attention, too--I just noted which pieces got the most hits generally. To bolster my personal versus political theory, I visited Glenn Reynold's again, I visit his blog every day, first thing on the web (these days he even beats out Drudge), and which post do I click through? The "right to leer" post, of course.

For all the hard core political talk, people are intensely interested in the the intensely personal (even though some would like to pretend to be above that sort of thing, sniff, sniff). Citizens will make judgments about the future president based on whom he or she marries. It's a big deal. I think it's a bigger deal among the undecideds who, ironically, decide who becomes president. Citizens decide about attitude and posture and eye-lids and word phrasing. They decide on family and friends. They decide on the cut of a suit and the spontaneous humor under pressure. In a word, it's called "electibility" and as John Kerry proved, and Gore before him, being deemed electible is elusive. Right now, the numbers point to Obama as our next President of the United States--based on electibility.

The candidates know this. Candidates must be all things to all people and still be themselves. This is no easy task. Be erudite but not condescending (Kerry). Exciting but not too extreme. Handsome but not pretty (Edwards). Authoritative but not too authoritarian (Giuliani). Human but not fatally flawed (Obama). Serious but not pessimisstic. Smooth not smarmy (Romney). Skeptical but not conspiratorial (Paul). Relaxed but not lax. Ambitious but not conniving (Clinton). Principled but not one-issue (Hunter). Intense but not angry (McCain).

In these days of political correctness, it's the personal correctness deciding political fates. The candidates on the Left seem so same--only the packaging is different. Increase taxes to help the little people--populist empty talk. Equal rights--making the assumption people don't already have them. End Iraq. Pretend that terrorism isn't happening. Ultimately, though, people are deciding about ovaries and skin color and hair style and spouses and guilt and other emotions--the substance is the same (which is why the Left can jump on board cool-aid style no matter the candidate.) On the right, the substance is different but the decision making process differs little. There will be people who vote based on the ability to convey righteous indignation or presence or tough-guy individualism. The particulars matter not. It is the presence that makes the president.

People say they make decisions based on the candidates politics, but they vote on the personal.

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