Thursday, May 06, 2021

An Interesting Wikipedia Article

      Wikipedia has a good overview of the "cult of personality" concept in politics, with a lot of links.  While often seen as a major component in authoritarian systems, it's also a danger to popular democracies; conservatives looked with alarm at the often-fawning press coverage of and crowd response to Mr. Obama and liberals (and some others) were horrified by Mr. Trump's rallies and oratorical style.*

      I would argue that any time you find yourself wildly enthusiastic about a politician, it's a good idea to take a step back and analyze just what it is you like -- ideas, policy, personality?  Something less tangible, an expiation of guilt or a vicarious feeling of power?

     For that matter, if a pol rubs you the wrong way, figure out why.  (Decades ago, my father took a particular dislike to one of Indiana's U. S. Senators.  While he disapproved of the man's politics, it was the Senator's smarmy manners and condescending attitude that riled him the most.  Even in an angry near-rant, was always careful to distinguish between the Senator's having a repulsive personality and his espousing of halfwitted or damaging policies.)

      Politicians play on your emotions to get the votes that put them in a position to play with your money.  It's important -- indeed, vital -- to use more than emotion in deciding which of them you will vote for.
* I am not suggesting equivalence; they are very different men with very different personalities.  But their Presidential campaigns and terms illustrate two approaches to the same pitfall.

1 comment:

Don M said...

I usually don't think the stripper likes me.