“Like” and “looks” matter, “talent” is incidental
Democracy is just in alpha testing for the rich and famous
The political experiment called democracy, that began in Greece some 2,500 years ago, is still in the alpha testing stage, and even if Plato’s “philosopher-kings” got fairly elected back then, today, we know there are no philosophers or intellectual kings that get fairly elected. Unless, of course, they’re good looking and likable and born in an incubator of one of the rich and famous rat packs. Intellect, experience and character don’t matter, the only requisites to run for high office are any three of the following:
- Good looks
- Family name
- Bags of money
- Master puppeteers
Getting elected is about charisma and money and money. Oh, and with the help of family connections and name recognition – Trudeau, Kennedy, Bush.
Somewhere in the recesses of our intellect is an adumbrated understanding that leadership requires unique talent and that liking someone who looks good has nothing to do with that. And yet, in politics, when it comes to picking winners, we are no better at it than when we’re betting at the horse track. We pick losers because they look good. Now that’s okay if we see life as a horse race and government as a barn full of self-interested, horse’s asses – there’s a metaphor for politics – but if we expect our best interests to be reasonably represented then we have to start electing some true thoroughbreds. And to do that we must disconnect our amygdala and tap a little deeper into our cerebral cortex? Until we do, our superficiality and stupidity will just keep picking superficial losers.
Who is Justin Trudeau? Is he like Justin Timberlake?
Justin Trudeau is the next lab rat to run in the political experiment called democracy. He’s a good trifecta bet. He’s got looks, likeability, money and name – that’s a superfecta – and he won the recent Liberal Party leadership with 80% of the votes because he was best liked. As one handler said, ““Our going-in assumption, and it’s basically what we built the entire strategy around, was that the more people get to know him, the more they are going to like him.” (Remember one of Mitt Romney’s flaws, enough people didn’t “like” him enough).
The backroom cabal aren’t stupid but they know the majority of the electorate is. Forty-one year old Trudeau has big hair, small experience, good genes, bad resume – he’s just a substitute drama teacher. Yikes! Some drama. My god, his father, Pierre Elliott Trudeau, had a law degree, a Master’s from Harvard, founded a political newspaper, Cité Libre, and was the Minister of Justice in the federal government before becoming Prime Minister. If he was alive, I think he’d send Justin to serve in Afghanistan or the UN or a YMCA camp – anything to learn a thing or two or three before trying to run a nation. But you can bet there’s a good chance that Canadians will elect this good lookin’, likable, genetically branded guy as the nation’s next Prime Minister. Hey, maybe the Americans will run his namesake, Justin Timberlake? Or Oprah or Ellen? Any of them could win in a landslide (look what too many thought of Sarah-too-empty-Palin). Because we’re still running on our “animal brain” – according to wise men like Friedrich Nietzsche and Charles Darwin – and the likes of Karl Rove and Dick Cheney know that’s how we decide who to vote for. And history has proven it, over and over again.
Why does history repeat itself?
Nietzsche, when referring to the weakness of humanity, called it “eternal recurrence” – we just don’t learn from past folly. And Einstein has often been credited (he didn’t say it) with the popular quote: “Insanity is repeating the same mistakes and expecting different results. These wise men, along with Charles Darwin, anchored their thinking in the belief that humans are superficial, stupid and function primarily with their “animal brain.” Centuries of evidence is in and it overwhelming supports their hypothesis. And across the millennia, generations of lesser-light politicians have used this evidence to troll the moron majority for approval – be liked and you win. It has nothing to do with talent, merit, principles and character. “We the people” just want to like someone and we are dupes for the good-lookers. And if they happen to be smart, lucky us – as long as they gives “us” what we want and nothing for the other tribes.
And stupid is okay
Money covers all sins but it can’t turn stupid into anything other than winning politics or failed businesses. There is no explanation – none – as to how George “W” became President of the United States other than people didn’t “like” Al Gore enough. Actually, they did like Gore by a few hanging chads more than Bush but the Supreme Court liked “W” and his family connections so the world got a shallow, not-so-bright, ex-alcoholic, cowboy sailing the Good Ship America for eight years. “How’d ya’ like them there two wars and the few trillion I put on America’s credit card, boy?” George “W” also had another requisite to lead – master puppeteer, Dick Cheney.
The trifecta – family, money and looks
JFK won in 1960, against the odds. He was a Catholic in a nation that was still stuck in its religious bigotry, his money came from family bootlegging and he was a serial philanderer – all losing factors. But God bless America, he was good looking and likable. In politics, a winner. And he won. As did his brothers and others who, at birth, had won the family lottery called “You-Are-A-Kennedy.”
So what do we do? Take the test
For the rest of those who are capable of leading – and there are many – the options are limited. You need to be rich or famous (both is better). Maybe grow big hair. And get a master puppeteer – which won’t happen if you don’t have bags of money and ooze charisma. And even if you are extremely likable, it won’t work without two of the other qualifications. Aaaah, democracy … “all men (and recently, some women) are created equal” if you can score three on the political litmus test. If you want to win in politics then take this simple test – and be honest, at least until you get into politics.
Do you have?
- Good looks
- Family name
- Bags of money
- Master puppeteers
If you score three or more, start running for office.
Leave A Comment