The other day I was reading Facebook stuff and came across a friend’s political post (c’mon, that is all Facebook is these days) and in the comments someone said something about all of these candidates being emotionless robots. And this got me to thinking (and I apologize to John who had to read through my long rant that night and probably is reading it again, sorry dude).
Who is to blame for these robotic candidates? The knee jerk reaction is to say “the media.” They tend to be the ones who take anything a candidate does and blow it out of proportion. This causes candidates to be afraid of saying anything even remotely controversial, but also to fear looking foolish. No one wants to be the guy on every late night talk show being mocked for something stupid. Let me give you two examples.
Remember Howard Dean? Probably not. He was the guy running for the Democratic nomination in 2004. He was actually doing pretty well and then he slipped up. He got really amped up at a rally and he let out this weird scream. Every single late night show ran with it and made funny jokes out of it. The actual media asked questions about what kind of leader he would be if he could not contain his excitement. And just like that, his numbers dropped and the next thing you know, John Kerry is the nominee. All because of this weird scream.
The second one I can think of was Al Gore. Remember when he was running for president and he tried to kiss his wife on stage?
He was crucified for trying to show some emotion since that was what everyone said was his biggest downfall. He was this robotic, uninteresting nonhuman. So he tried to show everyone that he was a person and it came off as the scariest, weirdest thing ever. And sadly this happened again just a few days ago. I cannot believe I am about to defend Ted Cruz, but he had a similar moment. The media was all over it and it just made me cringe and say “how hard would it be to turn, grab your wife, and give her a passionate kiss, while on stage in front of tens of thousands of people?”
This is the media making these things into a huge deal. This makes the candidates try to show zero emotion. Have you seen Al Gore or John McCain in interviews since losing the bid for president? They are engaging, funny, charming guys. You can see why people voted for them all those times for Senate and whatnot.
But again, it is easy to blame the media. And they do have a part, but in the end we are to blame. All of us. The voters. The people who get caught up in these stupid non-issue discussions and allow them to shape how they vote. We could see the media doing this and say “whatever, turn that shit off! I am still voting for whichever candidate best represents my beliefs.” If you align more with Howard Dean, vote for the guy, who cares if he screams like a crazy person when he gets excited. Does it matter if Al Gore or Ted Cruz look weird when they try to kiss their wives?
This is why Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are doing well. Yes, some of it has to do with the fact that they have very different ideas (not the place to discuss those ideas), but instead, people hear them and see them and are saying “but at least they are not afraid to speak their mind.” How many Trump supporters do you hear say things like “he doesn’t care what people think of him!” People are dying to get behind a candidate with deeply held ideals. They do not need to worry about Sanders showing up at a Wall Street rally saying that he has always supported the Big Banks. They love when Trump pulls back the curtain and says how he has donated to everyone’s campaign before because in the end when he needs something, all he has to do is make a call.
You want real candidates out there? Then start voting for them when they come around.
This rant is not associated with any political party, nor should this be considered an endorsement for any particular candidate. Especially not Marco Rubio, that guy sucks.