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Showing posts with label Clinton. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Clinton. Show all posts

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Likeability - Editorial, The Week in Review

Analysis, Commentary, Opinion


There has been a lot of talk this week about the candidacy of Elizabeth Warren, Senator from Massachessets and her likeability.

There are a lot of people excited about the prospect of her running for President, I am. She brings a sharp and focused understanding of public policy to the field, and the ensuing debates will be elevated because of her participation in them.

We need candidates like her in the mix, like Bernie Sanders, the Senator from Vermont, but questions have been raised about Elizabeth Warren’s likeability, some are suggesting that it is unfair to judge her by such a standard, even sexist, or misogynistic.

I disagree.

Likeability is a huge factor in electability, and if it is sexist or misogynistic to judge her by that standard then it was also sexist and misandronistic to judge Al Gore, or John Kerry by that standard when they were running against George W. Bush.

Do you remember the question that was asked over and over again during those campaigns, Gallop even did poling on it: “Who would you rather have a beer with?”

It is a question that is both totally absurd and completely relevant at one and the same time.

If it is sexist and misogynistic to judge a female candidate by her appearance or her hair style, then it is also sexist and misandronistic to judge a male candidate by his height, or baldness.

It would be better if we could all just set aside judgements based on superficial criteria, but not all judgements based on appearance are superficial. Matters that the candidate has no control over should be off the table, a person cannot become taller than they are, but they do make choices about the clothes they wear, or the way they cut their hair, fashion their tupee, and those choices say something about the candidate.

Those choices communicate things to us about the candidate, both intentionally and unintentionally, they say something about the candidate and they are fair game.

Beyond appearances, likeability is definitely a factor in electability, it is not as great of a factor as other intangibles, like moment, but it is a factor nonetheless, and it contributes to moment, boosting it or dragging it down according to the candidates relative degree of charisma.

If elections were won on policy points alone then Bernie Sanders would have won the Democratic nomination. He had better policies and more likeability, but Hillary had insurmountable momentum, and it bore itself out.
If elections were won on policy points alone, then Hillary would have beaten Trump and she would be president right now and America, the World itself would be in a much better place.

Trump had no policies. His campaign was a total fraud, based on cons, scams and lies, he used those effectively to exploits Hillary’s basic problems with likeability, and stole a sufficient amount of her momentum so that he was able to cross the finish line even without having won the popular vote.

Charisma matters, and it is also in the eye of the beholder, but it still matters.

Elizabeth Warren scores very low on the likeability scale. This will hurt her. It hurts her with me.

I would not like to be scolded by her, and when she speaks about the issues she cares about I feel like she is scolding her audience. I would not like to be hear a male candidate speak to the same issues in the same way.

Nevertheless, Elizabeth warren’s run raises the bar for all Democratic candidates in the primaries. If she grabs the momentum, she will have my support, likeability aside.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

The Third Week of Trump

Editorial, The Week in Review – Analysis, Commentary, Opinion

I guess we will get numb to things.
A human being can get use to anything, even the idea of a President Trump. Accepting it was easy, because it is what it is. Understanding how it happened is another matter altogether.
 Understanding the reactions of the media, the newsmakers and the commentators, that is also baffling, but most of the things they are saying (or not saying) can be understood in relation to their profit motives. Those people are not public servants, no matter how much we would like them to be, or how much they pretend to be, they are self-interested, self serving reporters, producers, and CEOs of mega-corporations.
I am more baffled by the great number of people in my personal network who continue to lash out at the democratic party, and at Hillary Clinton for losing, suggesting that they lost the election because they were not ideologically pure enough as liberals, or too much in bed with bankers and big agriculture big oil, and the rest of the military industrialized complex.
It was not a lack of ideological purity that lost the election for the left, it was ideological rigor that did the democratic agenda in.
Lefties, acting like children, pretending that they are justified in vilifying Hillary Clinton, vilifying her for being a war monger, a hawk, a neo-con, these are my friends, and it saddens me to say that they live in such an insulated world that they have no idea, that half of the voting population in the United States, actually believe the things that Republicans talk about.
They believe that human beings have no influence on climate change.
They believe that the world is only 6,000 years old.
They believe that human beings walked with dinosaurs.
They believe that President Obama was out to get their guns, they do not believe that he reduced the deficit, helped grow the stock market, helped ease the unemployment rate, kept the economy rolling, saved the housing markets, saved the automotive sector. They believe he is a Muslim, born in Kenya, illegitimate. They believe it, and they were never going to vote against their standard bearer. They voted for Donald Trump. They are half of the electorate. They believe that Christianity is in danger of losing its prominence in the American way of life, and that white people are an endangered minority. They believe it, and they voted, and they were never going to be convinced of anything by Bernie Sanders, or Jill Stein or anyone.
I have many friends who know these things in the abstract, but despite that knowledge they cannot fathom how to present a coordinated political response to the problems those world views present. These friends of mine believe that the election could have been won if the candidate from the left was ideologically pure, and not a centrist like Hillary Clinton, who, in their own speech, they make out to be a right wing extremist.
These friends of mine are already busy sewing the seeds of dissent and disunity among their progressive peers, instead of examining how we can work together to dig our way out of this mess.
Cognitive dissonance is not only for the right wing. Cognitive dissonance is a problem of the extremes.
If you want to see progress in this country you cannot tear the system down, the electorate would never afford you the time to rebuild it. Fear fills a vacuum, and the result we get from that is the politics of paranoia which we have.
I ask my friends, those who care about politics, and more important about public policy, I ask you to get with it. Join the democratic party, work from within, accept the outcome of policies debates when you are on the losing end, stick together and form a critical mass. That is the only way we will move the country forward, and be content if the progress we make appears slight. Do not quit.
To further this end, please stop posting vulgarities. Stop expressing rage. Start planning, stick to it, and motivate those around. Present the steadfast face, be a diplomat. Stat vetting your news sources, set aside the splashy headlines because you like how the read, or ring in your ears. Don’t give the critics on the right a reason to dismiss your point of view. They will do it anyway, but let’s not lob any softballs.
Stand up against injustice, coordinate your actions with others and present a united face, without that the country will continue to veer to the right.

Stop wading through the miasma of misinformation. Demand clarity, and offer reason in return.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Berning it Down - Editorial, The Week in Review – Analysis, Commentary, Opinion


Berning it Down

There was a subtle shift in the Sander’s campaign this week; as he continues in his quest for Democratic Party’s nomination for President. I found it troubling, and a little bit amusing, but mostly worrisome, and befuddling.

BS lost every contest on Tuesday. His campaign spent a lot of resources, and they believed they would win at least one of the contests, if not two, and they were hopeful that they could make it three.
In two of the contests; Missouri and Illinois the margin was razor thin; virtually tied, but he lost. HRC won Ohio by a by a larger margin, but it was still relatively close. However, she blew the Sander’s campaign out of the water in North Carolina and Florida.

HRC expanded her lead in the contest for delegates in a significant way, I am speaking of pledged delegates, votes that are committed to HRC.

The Clinton campaign holds a commanding lead; something like 95% of the un-pledged, “super-delegates.” Making her path to victory almost guaranteed. BS has complained bitterly about this through the contest so far; stating over and over again that if HRC only wins because of the votes of super-delegates her victory would be un-democratic and illegitimate.

This line of reason has been vociferously echoed by the BS supporters all over the Web and throughout social-media. Only now, now that his path to victory has become extremely dubious; BS has begun to suggest that he might continue his campaign all the way to the convention even if he arrives there without a majority of pledged delegates, and try to convince the super-delegates to make him the nominee anyway; in what his campaign has already called an un-democratic and illegitimate way.

I am amused by this because it speaks directly against the holier than thou, I am not a regular politician image that the BS campaign has successfully foisted on the public imagination. The amusement can only go so far because such a path risks fracturing the democratic party just at the point when it needs to be unified.

This troubles me because it is a concrete foreshadowing of what I have been asking my friends, who are BS supporters to think about; my estimation that BS would gladly tear down the party jut for a chance to win an argument. That is the kind of guy he seems to be.

Mind you, I am not saying he would tear down the party just to win an argument; he would tear it down just for a chance to win, and jeopardize any possibility of advancing the progressive agenda that he claims to care so much about.

People, who are fans of BS have made a lot of noise about the notion that the Senator is untouched by political corruption. I challenge that notion on the basis that, people can be greedy for other things than money. Human beings are corrupted by their desires, and as the Buddha says, desire is the cause of all suffering. Desire causes suffering both from within and without. Our own desires cause us to suffer, and the desires of others inflict suffering on those around them.

Most people desire mundane things, material things; they are greedy for wealth, privilege, power. Some people however, have more intractable desires, more difficult for us to understand, not as easy to put our finger on, like; purity, righteousness, rightness. I contend that we have more to fear from those who crave these things than we do the other.

I ask you to think about this in the coming weeks as the BS campaign continues its rhetoric about the super-delegates, condemning HRC out of one side of their mouths for stacking the deck with these pledges at the outset of the contest, and out of the other side of their mouths giving us their strategy to capitalize on the same. While threatening to Bern down the party in the process.