November 06, 2008

these are my thots let me show you them

I'm going to attempt to somewhat coherently organize my thoughts regarding running for office, particularly as a Republican.  We've been discussing building back up a conservative movement and, as part of that, getting people to run.  Well, it appears there are certain rules than need to be met to do so.  Here's my take on that.  This could get lengthy so I'm moving it below the cut.

I should note, I do not at all agree with these rules, but these are what they seem to be.

1.  Be rich.  All this pettiness about Palin's wardrobe wouldn't have happened if she'd just been independently wealth or married to money like all major political candidates appear to be.  After all, then she would have had the wardrobe already.  Contrary to an accusation that was flung at me, I wouldn't have cared if Palin bought her clothes at JC Penney's instead of Neiman Marcus.  Yes, clothes matter but I'm not that much of a snob.  However, the fact remains that there is a certain level of satorial excellence demanded of those in the running for major positions, be that public office or the CEO of a company.  There's a reason that the advice to dress for the job you want not the one you have has been out there for ages.  Like it or not, people draw judgments based on clothing.  So, yes, I do think it was necessary.  And if she'd had Pelosi or Kennedy or Bloomburg or McCain or Obama money, then no problem.  But she didn't.  So now she's a hillbilly raiding Neiman Marcus.

There's also the pragmatic issue that running for office requires a full time commitment.  So you'd better either own a business or have enough money to be able to take months off to run.  If you don't and your opponent does?  That's a problem.  Hell, look at Michael Steele.  He may not have had perfect credit.  Oh.  My.  Yeah, there's no one else in America with that little problem.  Yet when you're running for office, it's a disaster.

Not to mention, it certainly helps if you can pay for your own campaign.  I believe someone mentioned that there was an Iraq War veteran recruited to run and then he was abandoned when a local multi-millionaire decided to throw his hat in the ring.  That sucks, but it's reality.  So you better be rich.

2.  Don't be a normal person.  OMG!  Palin opened the door in a bathrobe!  OMG!  You mean she acted like a normal human being, not a political machine?  Heaven forfend.  Look at the criticism directed towards her family, her diction, her winking, her use of regionalisms and her accent.  What draws the base to her, namely that she seems like one of them, is what makes the beltway insiders recoil.  Doesn't she know how to act?  How uncouth!  How declasse!

The candidates might preach populism but most of them sure as hell seem to hate the actual populance.

3.  Go to elite schools.  The Harvard/Yale axis from both parties is well known.  Again, look at the sneering at the fact that Palin went to more than one college and that she went to a state school.  Look, let's face it, the Ivy Leagues aren't exactly the font of wisdom people think, hard sciences excepted.  Most of the elite schools are infested with deconstructionists and other trendy academic theorists.  Getting in is the hard part.  Graduating in a social science?  Not at all.  I don't have to hand the various links to discussions about how nearly all of Harvard's students are graduating with honors and the utter destruction of the idea of having to work for a grade.  Again, the hard sciences seem somewhat immune to this.  But the fact is that scientists aren't running for office, humanities majors are.  The Ivies are running off of their legacy of scholarship.  I have no doubt that you can get an as good as, if not better than, actual education at a major state school as at Harvard.  But the perception remains that the Ivies are best.  So if, like the rest of America, you went to a non-elite college?  You're just not that smart, dear.

4.  Take voice lessons until you speak in East Coast TV Newscaster voice.  I've mentioned this before, but you'd better not have an accent.  In the US, the flat tonality of the East Coast TV Newscaster has been accepted as the default of normal and smart.  I have quite an interest in accents and regionalisms and I find that fascinating, particularly since so many newscasters are based in NYC and that particular diction does not remotely reflect the accent of that region.  I grew up in the Midwest and, to me, Palin doesn't really have an accent.  That's how people speak.  But there is a perception that anything other than that particularly tonality is an indication of a lesser intellect.  It's Jeff Foxworthy's old joke about having a thick Southern accent and how you don't want your surgeon sounding like that.  Look at Romney, he doesn't exactly have a Boston accent.  Even the Southern politicians smooth out their accents.  So if you have one?  Better lose it.  Fast.

5.  Do not have anything resembling a normal family life.  OMG Bristol's preggers!  Sarah may have been knocked up when they got married!  OMG!  There's a drunken abusive former brother in law!  Just like 99.9% of all other families in America.  But if you're running for office?  That's fair game, baby.  Not only that, it once again proves that you're just not our kind of person.

6.  Be a lawyer.  Do I even have to explain this one and what a disaster it is that the vast majority of those who are writing our laws are lawyers?  God, I hate my profession. 

Those are just off the top of my head.  I'm sure there are others but I'm interested to hear what y'all think. 

Posted by: alexthechick at 01:13 PM | Comments (7) | Add Comment
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