Judgement by Appearance
As we gather enthusiasm to analyze the field of political candidates for 2016, it would be wise to understand America is wired to prefer the perception of competency rather than competency itself.
In a study conducted by Princeton, researchers gathered black and white head shots of 95 races for the U.S. Senate and six hundred races for the U.S. House of Representatives over a course of five years. The volunteers who evaluated the photographs knew nothing of the candidates and selected winners solely based on their photo image perception of competency. With astonishing accuracy, they predicted 72 percent of the Senate races and 67 percent of the House races.
Somewhat baffled by the irrelevancy of political ideologies versus appearance, they duplicated the test using gubernatorial candidates and Senate races. Volunteers again selected 69 percent of the gubernatorial races and 72 percent of the Senate races with great accuracy based solely on appearance.
While some may reflect disdain over the revelation, it should not surprise the majority. Our current president was selected in the same manner. Competent appearance, professional use of a teleprompter, a glib talker and he can sound extremely credible without any facts. Add to this campaign the juggernaut affect of race baiting and you get an invincible candidate.
He can also keep a straight face and appear knowledgable even while spouting off pure fabrications. We have arrived at the era of politics where we make judgement on candidates not by the reality of who they are but rather by the perception of who they appear to be. All proliferated by the astonishing effect of new world wide, instant media. Astute candidates are aware of this and relish putting on a semantic side show to add to their manipulated, physical appearance persona. They are merely a side show full of politically correct abstractions and semantic diversions passed off as prime time theater by mainstream media.
America has reached the point where most of us are in need of a philosophical dose of Milk of Magnesia; by now we should be able to relate to the most mundane of political assessments about how our naive judgements have diminished our mental acuity and taken us afoul of any possibility of selecting competent representation. A more earthy assessment of current circumstance, can be readily understood in a quote of creative American genius Clint Eastwood; “Someone left the door open and the wrong dogs came home”. America has its eyes fixated on the whirling wind of political nonsense. It can be nauseating.
Many Americans still believe in our leadership, the shoo away war on terror, finding our wealth in someone else’s pocket, finger pointing as the best way towards political success, and media contrived, agenda driven propaganda as our best path towards unity. Sanity has taken a back seat with dubious perception now ruling the day.
With perception having become more powerful than truth, we have a problem. When educational degrees become more important than knowledge, we have a problem and when what is being said becomes more believable than the actual facts, we have abdicated our common sense and have become pawns in the rigged game of political gotcha.
As dedicated Americans, we continue to dream of the American Dream, full of possibilities to advance based on “ganas” (the will) and self potential. We continue to dream, knowing dreams only die when the dreamer does.
In the final analysis we will discover, somewhere between who a candidate is and who we believe he/she is there is a window we cannot see through. In today’s world we erroneously depend on main stream media to tell us what they see. It was Obama supported by media who said in regards to candidates, “too much information is a distraction”. Integrity takes courage, a scarce commodity, not only in our leadership but also within ourselves for allowing elected politicians to bury our constitution in an avalanche of deceit.