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The myth of the ideal candidate

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posted on Feb, 1 2016 @ 09:49 AM
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There is a trend I've seen lately on ATS and with this recent election coverage, the country as a whole. The idea that there aren't candidates worth voting for. Many will compare today's crops of politicians to politicians from yesteryear.

I think this is folly. Candidates haven't changed much at all. I think the reason that the politicians look so poor now is a combination of several factors. 1) Over exposure to every part of these people's lives by the media, 2) nostalgia built up on idolized history, and 3) The modern generations in the first worlds are the most well educated people in the history of the human race. I will outline each of my three points below as to what I am talking about followed by a summary paragraph.

1) Over exposure to every part of politicians' lives by the media.

Look let's get this out of the way quickly. Politicians have ALWAYS been rather #ty. There is a reason that the South Park episode that compared the Bush/Kerry election to a race between a Giant Douche and a Turd Sandwich is still relevant today. Matt Stone and Trey Parker were brilliant with this episode, but the pure genius part of it comes at the very end when Stan finally accepts that he should just cast his vote regardless of who he has to choose from.

The reason for this is because it's true. It was true in 2004, it is true now, and it was true in 1780. Politicians suck. The reason is simple. They are human just like you and I. They all suffer from human flaws and failings and no one is perfect. But when we see the media constantly exposing each politicians' flaws we become more and more jaded that there is no one worth voting for. We all have the "ideal candidate" we'd LIKE to vote for in our heads, we all mostly agree that such a thing is as real as a unicorn, but for some reason we all pretend like not living up to that ideal makes you a bad politician.

2) Nostalgia built up on over idolized history.

Now you may be thinking about a candidate in our past that is generally accepted to have been awesome at his job and are about to say, "well wait Krazysh0t, what about so and so?" Well this gives me the opportunity to talk about how your view of the past is warped. Sorry if this sounds offensive to you, but it's true. History classes in school have all white-washed history to a tremendous degree. Our perceptions of historic figures tends to wipe away all the smears on their records while promoting their good deeds.

It would be like looking back at Obama's Presidency and only talking about how he started Obamacare (not how it performed), how helped gay rights, and how he battled for gun registration (again ignoring his results). It's distorted and wrong. Obama isn't certainly as bad as the right makes him out to be, but he certainly wasn't the best President either. Well that is what I'm getting at with historic politicians.

Case in point, JFK. Everyone talks about how JFK slept around on his wife ALL the time while serving as President. Heck, it's highly celebrated how he and Marilyn hooked up in the Oval office. Let's fast forward 40 or so years to the end of President Clinton's second term. Clinton gets a bj in the oval office, gets exposed, and becomes a national circus spectacle by the media. JFK would NEVER have been able to get away with what he did with women while President and if he tried, his record would be SEVERELY tarnished by it. This actually comes back to my previous point on the media too.

I can go on though. Most of the founding fathers were slave owners. Woodrow Wilson was a racist and promoted racial policies that pretty much caused the resurrection of the KKK (which had all but died out by the start of his Presidency). Lincoln had no intention of freeing the slaves when he was elected. Reagan is one of my best examples. He drastically ramped up the war on drugs (VERY unconservative in nature) and deregulated the banks which can be directly linked to the stagnating wages we've experienced ever since. And these are just Presidents. Don't get me started on Congress members... Also keep in mind that each of the Presidents I named all ran against another Presidential candidate who ended up losing.

3) The modern generation in the first world is the most educated generation in history.

Say what you want about our stagnating school scores, but even now humans are FAR more educated than we've ever been. This includes as recently back as the Greatest Generation. We are just better able to separate the crap from the stink because we've been trained to think critically about these things. Sure voter education isn't all that spectacular, but I'd say we are better politically educated than many previous American generations have been.

Look at the low voter turner out. Many voters stop participating because they feel like there isn't a choice or they don't want to pick the lesser of two evils all the time. Well think about this, much of voter participation in the past was due to propaganda and swarm behavior. People were doing it because they were told to do it and not because they were educated with who they were voting for. NOW, people are better educated and know better than to do something just because they are told. Thus voter participation drops because again, politicians are just as #ty as they've always been.

So to summarize my points here, politicians aren't entirely to blame for our poor choices in politicians. We just have the ability to pull the curtain back and see what is really going on with these people. Now, hopefully politicians realize this and start being better behaved, but that is unlikely so it falls back on US the now better educated public to remember to give some leeway to these guys. They are human just like you and I. Mistakes happen.
edit on 1-2-2016 by Krazysh0t because: (no reason given)




posted on Feb, 1 2016 @ 11:07 AM
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a reply to: Krazysh0t

You are preaching to the choir.

When I was old enough to vote, opinion polls where once a season and now they are once a week and it doesn't help when the press and the media has their vested interests- hell Murdoch would buy his way to the White House if he could. And then there is the inevitable smear campaigns-those personal attacks that every member of PR loves or loathes depending on what side they are on.

Hilliary and Trump are on the nose and it is because many people are becoming more politically savvy and will not fall for promises and scare campaigns anymore. If the voter turn out is lower than expected it's not the voters fault yet the blame will fall on the shoulders of PR and the Campaign Managers. One of the most vomit inducing aspects of modern campaign trails is the media trail. Jimmy Fallon can mock Trump all he wants but the moment Trump is on the show he is kissing his @$$-campaign trails are perfectly scripted BS but yet some folk fall for it time and time again.








edit on 1-2-2016 by Thecakeisalie because: (no reason given)

edit on 1-2-2016 by Thecakeisalie because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 1 2016 @ 11:10 AM
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a reply to: Thecakeisalie

This is why I just rolled my eyes at the "big" story over the weekend about Trump not going to the last debate because of his childish squabble with Megyn Kelly. Who cares? Debates aren't even a required part of the election process and were started by the media to boost ratings during the election process. Probably because JFK was young and good looking, thus media darling.



posted on Feb, 1 2016 @ 11:46 AM
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I agree with everything you posted. The problem with demonizing and idolizing people is that it rejects reality. Every human has strengths and weaknesses, so it's unrealistic to expect others to be perfect. And this is especially true when it comes to people in positions of power over others. A lot of people cant even run a household or a relationship without abusing their authority. So why should we expect people who have power over entire cities and States to be any better?

And on the other hand, people who know better or are more ethical than our proposed leadership should get more involved. As I keep trying to tell my friends and family, we don't need perfect leaders & decision makers. We just need better ones than what we have now. Incremental improvements are still improvements (though I personally prefer drastic improvements).



posted on Feb, 1 2016 @ 11:49 AM
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Anyone who agrees 100% with any candidate is a mindless idiot. I accept that every candidate will have flaws of some sort. I guess it just boils down to what people are willing to accept and as long as they check most of the boxes as far as your ideal candidate is concerned.

I voted for Obama in 2008 because I thought he'd be a bit more moderate. Fool me once...

I didn't care about Clinton's BJ. He was impeached for lying about it. He should have just owned up to it. The guy is married to Hildebeast, most rational people couldn't blame him.

I've just accepted that the vast majority of the voting public is uninformed. People don't do any research on their own and just accept whatever is presented to them.



posted on Feb, 1 2016 @ 11:49 AM
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originally posted by: enlightenedservant
We just need better ones than what we have now. Incremental improvements are still improvements (though I personally prefer drastic improvements).


This is well said. I had to quote it to make sure it stood out better.



posted on Feb, 1 2016 @ 11:53 AM
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nice piece.

Is it rational to vote for someone who will end up screwing you over? It is rare for the politician to do the right thing on a consistent basis.
By voting one give credibility to the system.



posted on Feb, 1 2016 @ 11:53 AM
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a reply to: Edumakated
I actually think people do more research than ever before, which creates distorted opinions about candidates that didn't exist in prior years. Then these over researched opinions get repeated to the people who don't do as thorough of research, it sounds plausible so they adopt it.

I mean before the internet, what were the most effective ways to stay informed about candidates? The newspapers and television. That's great for mainstream candidates, but how did you learn about 3rd party candidates or various local candidates besides the small blurbs mentioned about them?



posted on Feb, 1 2016 @ 11:57 AM
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a reply to: Krazysh0t

Iowa would be loving this-it's main revenue probably comes from housing candidates and their entourage each and every campaign. "if we win Iowa then we win the nation' has been a groundhog day moment for years and if the Iowa natives took a dilligaf approach to the sad situation then the campaigners may have to reassess their approach, and maybe the citizens of Iowa will be acknowledged as citizens before 'potential voters.'

edit on 1-2-2016 by Thecakeisalie because: (no reason given)

edit on 1-2-2016 by Thecakeisalie because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 1 2016 @ 12:26 PM
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Ideal candidate?
The most real comming from the US is a cartoon.

Nomether what you vote for.
It's always between a giant douche and a turd sandwich.



posted on Feb, 1 2016 @ 12:56 PM
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a reply to: Krazysh0t



posted on Feb, 1 2016 @ 01:04 PM
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a reply to: greencmp

...And you'd always be right!



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