As we all know, the presidential elections
are coming soon. Again. And the current presumptive nominees
seem to bring out the worst in their detractors. But what drives the elections? According to Ben Shapiro
(in Project President: Bad Hair and Botox on the Road to the White House
), while one might wish that it should be the issues - one of the most significant factors in the presidential race are the candidates' image. The candidates, well aware of this, do their best to put forth a pure face to all their public interactions, but generally don't
succeed. No candidate, explains Shapiro, is good enough an actor
to completely disguise his character flaws over the thousands of miles
the campaign trail requires.
So does deciding for whom to vote based on image rather than issue indicate that the average American voter is shallow? Shapiro does not find this troubling. (And this is the lesson of this post:) He contends that when the public vote based on image, they are voting largely based on the candidate's character. The most important attribute for a president, it can be argued, is the character
of the man (or woman) who will be the most powerful person in the world.
So, should we apply this concept to the individual, we could conclude that when one projects a less-than-great image, they are actually demonstrating their character flaws. Such a person should not be calling his PR firm
. He should be thinking about remedying
There's much else of interest in the book - it begins with a discussion of the "boots vs. suits" candidate divides, and draws on fascinating snippets of American history to develop its thesis. It even makes an attempt at rating the 2008 candidates'
image quotient. But the book suffers from choppy writing and has many redundancies. (It gives the feeling that each chapter was originally an individual magazine article, which were all combined - without editing - to produce this book.) On the whole, though, this book gives much food for thought in an entertaining and engaging package. Worth reading.
Labels: Worth reading