I’m not a Republican or Democrat.
As an artist and businessman, I take a scientific approach to understanding my work. For instance, when a guitar has a problem with its intonation, video footage looks bad, or my vacuum cleaner shits itself, I do my homework. I gather empirical evidence and integrate it with theoretical knowledge before I come to a conclusion. Rather than accepting a popular belief, I like to be certain.
I state all of this because I am not certain when it comes to politics.
But I would like to share some thoughts on last week’s Presidential Debate.
Obama got caught up in what my old sales boss would call Intellectual B.S. To avoid breaking Godwin’s Law, I won’t give credit to the author who wrote: “I use emotion for the many and reserve reason for the few.” The point is, people who care about checking their work are easy to confuse when presented with data. Obama froze up in a state of “analysis paralysis.” Or what actors call, “Getting in your head.” Was it intentional? I don’t know.
Romney established himself as Alpha Male by breaking the rules, horsing around, walking all over the moderator, and doing his best impersonation of Fonzie. What Romney has on his side is called “illusory superiority” — or the deeply rooted premise that he is right no matter what. Just look at those scary eyes. It’s known as the Dunning-Kruger effect, and is popular behavior among Republicans.
There was very little debate beyond, “I’m right and you’re wrong.” Pointless on the surface. All of the action was in the subtext, as a revelation of character.
I thought, I’m back in High School: Obama is the nerd. Romney is the jock.
It’s an “evolutionary psychology” thing. As Osama Bin Laden said, “when people see a strong horse and a weak horse, by nature, they will like the strong horse.”
It’s sad that our society hasn’t grown up. We’re still easily tricked by our own tribal survival mechanisms. We have an automatic urge to divide ourselves into teams and fight. My team is good, your team is bad. Everything we say is true, everything you say is false. We will win, you will lose.
And with the increasing power granted to the executive branch these days, I’d prefer not to have an abusive bully as my dictator. I imagine his unrepentant choices, how many world leaders he would piss off, how many wars he would start.
On that basis alone, I’ll take the weak horse.