Pick Your Poison

“‘We are the United States of Amnesia,’ said Gore Vidal in 2004. These days, it’s more the United States of Dementia. In 2020, the country seems determined to choose between two elderly men who, it is fair to say, are some distance from sanity.”
~Freddy Gray, Biden vs Trump: may the craziest man win!

“A top Democrat with a prior presidential campaign predicted last year to me that the general would pit “the nice old guy with Alzheimer’s against the mean old man with dementia.””
~Marc Caputo, Twitter

“Voters are going to see Joe Biden in what I think can only be called mental decline and they are going to wonder if he should be in charge of the nuclear arsenal. And the fact that Trump is also in clear mental decline, that’s not exactly reassuring.”
~Jeremy Scahill, We Need To Talk About Joe

“The two people most likely to control the U.S nuclear arsenal, and with it the capacity to blow up civilization, through January 2025 are both well into their 70s and facing pervasive public speculation that they are becoming senile.”
~John F. Harris, 2020 Becomes the Dementia Campaign

Here we are. The presidential election has come down to two main candidates, Donald Trump and Joe Biden. They are white guys, filthy rich and very old*. They’ve spent their lives as corrupt plutocrats and now, as rapidly aging senior citizens, they are not only holding onto power over society but grasping for even more power.

Even if they weren’t morally unfit, no one could honestly argue that they’re not mentally unfit. Each has clear signs of cognitive decline, possibly dementia. I’m not being mean-spirited or ageist. There are many old people who maintain their full cognitive abilities. Elizabeth Warren, for example, comes across as someone decades younger. And Bernie Sanders, even with other health problems, remains mentally sharp. I’ve listened to old interviews and speeches of Biden and Trump. Both of them used to be capable of speaking coherently and intelligently — yes, even Trump.

If that wasn’t bad enough, each has a history of racism, calls for authoritarian law and order, and accusations against them of sexual assault — to name their greatest sins. These older generations are becoming ever more reactionary and right-wing with every passing year, and these two old white guys were already pretty damn far right decades ago — consider their support of tough-on-crime laws (Political Super-Predators). This at a time when for decades the majority of Americans has turned hard left, leaving both parties far to the right of public opinion. How do we call this representative democracy? How do we not call this insanity?

“In this upcoming election, women are very likely going to find themselves with a choice of voting for either Joe Biden or Donald Trump. Both of those men have been accused of sexual assault.”
~Jennifer Wright, When Will We Get To Vote For A President Who Hasn’t Been Accused Of Sexual Assault?

“Three years after the #MeToo movement told survivors our experiences were speakable, we now have the right to choose between two men accused of sexual assault and harassment — and the rumored carrot for the Democrats’ guy is that he might choose an alleged workplace abuser … who is a woman!!!! Girl power!!! Forgive me if the roars of support I’m now obliged to affect get stuck in my throat.”
~Melissa Batchelor Warnkey, Opinion: I will vote for Joe Biden in November. And it will kill me

“It looks like the only non-, sort of heavy socialist, he is being taken care of pretty well by the socialists. They got to him. Our former vice president. I was going to call him — I don’t know him well. I was gonna say, ‘Welcome to the world, Joe. Are you having a good time, Joe? Are you having a good time?’”
~Donald Trump, speech at a National Republican Congressional Committee dinner

About politics as a horse race, which of these old nags will drag itself across the finishing line first? Earlier, we would’ve said that Trump had the advantage over someone like Biden, as the economy was doing well at the time. Like many others, we assumed it all rode on the economy, as Trump bet everything on that issue. But also like many others, we knew the economy was weak and unstable, ready to take a tumble at any moment.

Eventually, the economy would fall into a depression and there would be a reset. It could happen tomorrow or years from now. The plutocrats in both parties have been trying to delay the inevitable. Even Democrats don’t want to face the economic reality, even it meant a massive slump that would hand them the election. But at some point, it will be irrelevant what anyone wants.

That is where the Covid-19 pandemic comes in. It’s also something experts have been predicting for a long time, yet another inevitability. It is hitting at an interesting time, right at the height of campaign season in the year leading up to the election. A third of the economy has shut down with a likely result of massive number of small business bankruptcies and closures, even if another great depression doesn’t hit right away. Also, among the lower class and lower working class, more than half of that population is out of work.

Suddenly, the message of the political left has more traction than ever before. Going by the polls, most Americans have long wanted major political, economic, and healthcare reforms. But the ruling elite had managed to shut down public debate with both parties working together to attack the political left. The silencing is no longer effective and the demand for change is undeniable.

Yet we are stuck with two right-wing candidates in a one-party state. It’s a strange situation. Lesser evil voting becomes more meaningless with every election, as somehow the supposedly lesser evil keeps getting more evil. How are we supposed to be certain which evil is lesser? And how is any evil supposed to inspire victory and somehow magically lead to the greater good? Promoting evil, even lesser evil, muddies the water and simply further strengthens evil — imagine that!

This helped Trump win the last election. But now he is flailing with the public health crisis. As someone who knows how to manipulate situations to his advantage, he seems to have entirely lost the narrative. And he just went on a lunatic tirade declaring himself emperor of America (Stephen Collinson and Maeve Reston, Trump rages at criticism while governors craft their own plans to reopen the economy). For all of his impotent decrees, he has no way to get the economy back up and running again. So, his favorability rating was predictably dropping. It’s likely to get even worse for him over the coming months as the full consequences of the situation become clear.

On the other hand, he is running against the weakest Democratic candidate in recent history. For all of president Cheetoh’s severe mental health issues, Sleepy Joe’s senior moments are far more extreme. For this entire campaign season, Biden has been a political non-entity, an empty suit on stage. In the middle of a pandemic and retired from public office, he has no role to play nor any way to campaign in a normal fashion.

It’s unclear if Biden will be able to remain coherent in a one-on-one debate with Trump (Catherine Armecin, Donald Trump Will Beat Joe Biden, ‘Eat Him Alive,’ Joe Rogan Predicts). If nothing else, Trump is brilliant in going after someone’s weaknesses. He also has a talent for handling the media. As for Biden, his handlers have mostly been hiding him from the public and media, afraid of what words might come out of his mouth. Eventually, Biden will have to come out of hiding and it won’t end well. Given half a chance, Trump will eat Biden alive.

To make it even more interesting, Covid-19 will further spread into the political class. One or both of these candidates is likely to become infected over this next year. Neither is close to being at peak health. Even if Covid-19 didn’t kill one or both of them which it could, they might still suffer serious health deterioration and ongoing health concerns, as is common among patients who recover from severe bouts. If nothing else, it would exemplify the risk of putting up for office the oldest candidates in American history.

It’s a complete gamble of what could happen at this point. This election might as well be decided by a coin toss. Both Biden and Trump are politically out of touch with the American people and mentally disconnected from shared reality. No matter which candidate wins, it will be a loss for the American public and American society. And in our country having become a banana republic, the political system is so rigged that more capable leaders can’t rise to the top. The demand for progressivism, kissing cousin of populism, is coming from the bottom-up and this actually gives Trump the advantage.

Strangely, Trump is more likely to offer progressive reforms than Biden, even as he is also more likely to push authoritarian measures — the two historically haven’t always been opposite and I might add that the economic nationalism, a pillar of old school progressivism, has been a position held by Trump for decades as evidenced in videos of him from the 1980s and 1990s. Biden, on the other hand, will simply be a puppet for his fascist masters, as both a war hawk and a deficit hawk. This is what has made it easy for Trump to attack Biden from the political left, in criticizing Biden for his tough-on-crime policies and his repeated attempts to cuts Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and Veterans’ benefits. It was by running to Hillary Clinton’s left on key issues that he beat her.

We are stuck with a choice of bad and worse with it not being clear which is which. Pick your poison, if you feel you must, but do so with open eyes. In either case, America will continue to be poisoned. As previously argued, we will get progressivism, one way or another. But will it be a genuine progressivism of hope or faux progressivism of reaction? Democrats can block the strong demand for justice and fairness from the progressive left. What they can’t deny, though, is the surge for progressivism across the political spectrum. Attacking the political left, as they’ve done, will only further strengthen the far right.

“There is only one choice in this election. The consolidation of oligarchic power under Donald Trump or the consolidation of oligarchic power under Joe Biden. The oligarchs, with Trump or Biden, will win again. We will lose.”
~Chris Hedges, If It’s Biden vs. Trump, This Year’s One-Choice Election Will Be for Oligarchy

“If I go out today and advocate electing as U.S. president the neocon, corporatist, safety-net slashing, longtime racist, private health insurance promoting, war mongering, emoluments taking, opponent of public college education, enemy of major wealth taxes, champion of job-destroying corporate trade agreements, opponent of any serious green new deal, . . . the first question has to be: Yeah? Which one? Which of the two?”
~David Swanson, Why You Should Never Vote for Joe Biden

“To Democrats, it may be self-evident that Joe Biden is far better than Donald Trump, and so they assume that all the bad things he has done will not matter to anyone. Any Democrat in the White House is better than Trump, I hear a lot, and I agree with it. But if you are going to make a clear and powerful case against Trump, you need to be free of the kinds of dirt that are going to muddy your case. If we’re going to point out that the president has been accused by dozens of women of inappropriate touching, we don’t want that message to come from someone who themselves has been accused of inappropriate touching (and who said they are “not sorry” for it). If we’re going to accuse the president of being reckless and warlike, we don’t want the argument being made by a candidate who pushed the most reckless war in the last several decades. If we’re going to accuse Trump of being corrupt, we don’t want a candidate who has done the bidding of the credit card companies while his son took a cushy job with them. If we’re going to call Trump out for separating families, we don’t want a candidate who deported hundreds of thousands of people themselves, and if we’re going to call Trump a racist, we don’t want a candidate who was best friends with segregationists and helped build modern racist policing and imprisonment regime. As with Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden’s record is so bad that he’s unable to effectively attack Trump on the areas where Trump is most vulnerable. This is one reason Biden has to resort to simply attacking Trump’s “character” and his “malarkey”—but as I’ve pointed out, Biden himself is of poor character and half of what comes out his mouth is malarkey! He’s exactly the sort of corrupt, sleazy insider politician D.C. is full of, and who we need to get rid of if we’re going to advance the cause of justice.”
~Nathan J. Robinson, Democrats, You Really Do Not Want To Nominate Joe Biden

“So as of right now it’s Trump versus Biden. An incompetent plutocrat president selling himself as an anti-establishment people’s champion while simultaneously advancing garden variety Republican sociopathy, versus a warmongering authoritarian who is too demented to string a coherent sentence together and who is looking more and more credibly to be a rapist.
“Needless to say, this is absolute bullshit.
“How did we get here? How did we get to the point where the electoral contest to run the most powerful government on the planet is between a racist demented right-wing authoritarian warmongering rapist and another racist demented right-wing authoritarian warmongering rapist? How in the hell did this bullshit happen?”
~Caitlin Johnstone, This Absolute Bullshit Would Not Be Possible Without Propaganda

—–

* Some argue that there has never been a president from the Silent Generation. The generations before them had members elected to the presidency. Boomers have had presidents. And even GenXers arguably had Barack Obama, although it depends on where one begins GenX and, even then, barely as he was right on the edge.

We’re not sure we’d agree with this assessment. Trump was born in 1946 and the supposed last year of Silents was 1945. But those cut-off points are arbitrary. His life experience overlaps much with younger Silents. Our father is a Silent and our mother is so close to it that she identifies as a Silent. For those who spent most of their youth in the 1940s and 1950s, it doesn’t make sense to call them Boomers.

Biden is only a few years older than Trump and he is definitely a Silent. These two, Trump and Biden, were born and grew up in the same basic historical moment. It’s probably why they have so much in common, such as their law-and-order, tough-on-crime support of a military and police state. They also both exhibit the casual racism and obtuse white male privilege more typical of that generation.

In that case, the Silents did finally get themselves into the presidency. And it is Trump who represents them. But then again, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush were also born in 1946. It’s interesting that all of these first wave Boomers, first year actually, have so much in common with late wave Silents like Biden. As with Trump’s similarities to Biden, Clinton and Dubyah also were white males with that old school assumed privilege and casual racism, not to mention the whole law-and-order schtick.

Despite being from different parties, all four of these rich old white guys have more in common than not. But whatever generation one wants to call them, they came from a drastically different world than the youngest Boomers who mostly grew up with GenXers in the same post-60s culture, violent crime wave, and high childhood lead toxicity rates. So, if we accept this breakdown, the Silent Generation already has had three presidents with one more now hoping to get his chance.

—–

Biden vs Trump: may the craziest man win!
by Freddy Gray

Joe Biden is Demented Racist Shark Food
by Paul Street

Biden’s Delusion About American History
by Miles Howard

Will Joe Biden’s political record come back to haunt him?
from BBC

Joe Biden’s history of austerity
by Ryan Cooper

Joe Biden’s Long Career as a Deficit Hawk Will Come Back to Bite Him
by Jordan Weissmann

WATCH: Joe Biden Once Boasted About Wanting to Cut Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and Veterans’ Benefits
by Walker Bragman

Why Joe Biden’s Social Security Record Matters
by Nancy Altman

Joe Biden falsely claims he never called for Social Security cuts
by Hunter Walker

Joe Biden Can’t Outrun His Record on Social Security
by Alex Lawson

Biden Says He Won’t Cut Social Security, but His Track Record Shows Otherwise
by Sean Williams

The burden of a 40-year career: Some of Joe Biden’s record doesn’t age well
by Janet Hook

Fact Check: Joe Biden Has Advocated Cutting Social Security For 40 Years
by Ryan Grim

Joe Biden Tried to Cut Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare for 40 Years
by Branko Marcetic

Biden Says He’s the Workers’ Candidate, But He Has Worked To Cut Medicare and Social Security
by Branko Marcetic

Biden’s record on social security and Medicare is a big liability
by Subir Grewal

Campaign season means ‘law and order.’ Can we break the habit?
by Mary C. Curtis

Before He Was America’s Wacky Uncle, Joe Biden Was a Tough-on-Crime Hardliner
by Patrick Caldwell

Biden Won’t Say If He Still Stands By His Crime Bill’s Ban on Pell Grants for Prisoners
by Madison Pauly

Would Joe Biden Put His Son In Prison For Doing Coke?
by Shane Bauer

On Criminal Justice, Biden Has No Moral Standing Over Trump
by Zak Cheney-Rice

Trump Attacks Biden on Drug Policy From the Left
by Jacob Sullum

Trump Was Tougher on Crime in His 2000 Book Than Biden Was in 1994
by John A. Tures

Will Black Voters Still Love Biden When They Remember Who He Was?
by Eric Levitz

Joe Biden’s Greatest Strength Is His Greatest Vulnerability
by Clare Malone

Joe Biden is losing his glow
by Roxanne Jones

Joe Biden Is Not Helping
by Jamil Smith

Where Is Joe?
by Nathan J. Robinson

Does Anyone Remember Joe Biden?
by Dan McLaughlin

Poll: Biden’s National Lead Over Trump Disappears
by Jazz Shaw

Elizabeth Warren: “The Progressive” Foil

I watched some of the beginning of the first Democratic debate. It wasn’t subtle who was being promoted by the DNC elite and their corporate media lackeys. In the first debate, the first question was lobbed as a perfect set-up for Elizabeth Warren. Before some of the candidates even got a chance for a single question, the moderator had given Warren multiple opportunities to talk. Specifically, she got the most time to speak during the first 30 minutes when the largest number of viewers were watching. Also, not only did she get the first word in the debate, but as an additional gift she received the last word as well.

In case Joe Biden’s campaign falls through as it probably will, Warren is being offered as a back up plan to keep anyone too far left, even principled liberals, out of the nomination. She isn’t much of a back up plan, but Biden is looking pathetic as well at the moment (Jonathan Martin & Alexander Burns, Biden Comes Under Attack From All Sides in Democratic Debate). The DNC elite simply has little of value to offer. I’m wondering if it’s the same plan as last time. The Clinton democrats are still clinging to power and that means they are more focused on punching left than keeping Trump out of the presidency. The DNC is looking desperate in how unimpressive are their top preferred candidates. On an amusing note, Warren was blindsided during the debate by an accusation she didn’t even know about beforehand (Mairead McArdle, Warren Caught Off Guard by Ethics Complaint During Debate).

Scanning the news, much of the corporate media has already declared Warren as the victor of the first debate (Vox, BazaarBoston HeraldThe New York Times, The Independent, etc). In fact, they were promoting before the debate even began (Mike LaChance, Mainstream Media Already Has Headlines Written: Elizabeth Warren is Big Winner in First Debates). But a winner compared to which other candidates? Despite all the camera time given her, she didn’t come across as a strong candidate. She sounded like she was repeating rehearsed talking points, presumably because she was. At least two polls, from the Drudge Report and the Washington Examiner, put Tulsi Gabbard as the winner (Ellie Bufkin, Drudge poll shock: Tulsi Gabbard runaway winner of first Democratic debate; & Joaquin Flores, Paradigms Flip as Trump and Tulsi Emerge as the Winners of the Democratic Party Debate). Gabbard, unlike Warren, comes across as sincere — a straight shooter with actual principles. All Warren could offer was a rehashing of Sander’s platform that she opposed a few years ago during his last campaign, but even in that her delivery wasn’t compelling.

Elizabeth Warren is a Clinton Democrat rebranded as Bernie Lite. I know how this game is played. And I think I see the strategy they have in mind. They’re setting Warren up as “The Progressive” foil (e.g., NYT’s Elizabeth Warren and Donald Trump Are Wrong About the Same Thing) so as to eliminate any strong progressive challenge to whatever other mainstream candidate the DNC actually wants to win. But if all else fails, she’ll be acceptable to the DNC as an alternative nominee. Since the ruling elite want to promote her for their agenda, I’m opposed to her. She is the false hope, the faux progressivism we are battling against, as Barack Obama was before. I don’t know if I’ll go for another Democrat or a third party candidate or simply abstain in protest, but I will never vote lesser evil and that is what Warren represents at this point, one of the many varieties of lesser evil in a system that inevitably leads to greater evil. I don’t care what any candidate says. Show me their record of consistently standing up for tough positions and fighting for what is right, even when it is difficult and costly.

In the end, Elizabeth Warren is in the Nancy Pelosi school of economics (“We’re capitalists, and that’s just the way it is.”) Sure, she wants a softer, more paternalistic corporatism to take off the edges of neoliberalism. That isn’t what we so desperately need. This is what makes her a Clinton Democrat and, like Hillary Clinton, Warren began her political involvement as a Republican — Alex Thompson writes that (‘Liz Was a Diehard Conservative’), “It was not until 1996—when Warren was 47 years old and a newly minted Harvard law professor—that she changed her registration from Republican to Democrat.” So, she only became a Democrat after the Clintons took control of the party and pushed hard right with corporate deregulation, racist tough-on-crime policy, mass incarceration, privatized prisons, etc. She is an economic conservative, a moderate one that promotes a classical liberal vision of a well regulated market but that is far from uncommon among fiscal conservatives (my fiscally conservative father, a former factory manager and business management professor, also supports increased regulation). Thompson continues:

“Some on the left have already pointed out the less-than-progressive stances in her 2003 book, The Two Income Trap, including the rejection of a “quasi-socialist safety net to rival the European model.” But a review of Warren’s early scholarship and interviews with more than 20 friends and colleagues from her high school years through her academic career reveal a longer conservative track record that has not been fully explored. Warren’s conservatism centered not on social issues like abortion or gay rights, friends say, but on economic policy, the dominant focus of her academic work and now her presidential candidacy.”

This right-leaning economics that seeks to defend capitalism by slightly moderating it, this is what distinguishes Warren from Sanders, as Thompson further explains: “The fact that Warren likely has spent more of her voting years outside the Democratic Party than in it distinguishes her from her 2020 primary opponents. She and Senator Bernie Sanders, for example, share many policy objectives and an inclination to rail against the powerful. The Vermont senator, however, largely decided what he believed 50 years ago and has been remarkably consistent ever since.” She can’t even blame her upbringing for her decades as a Republican: “Warren didn’t inherit the Republican Party from her parents or from her home state. Oklahoma was mostly a blue state while Warren was growing up there. Although partisan politics wasn’t much discussed at home, she speculated in a 2018 interview with the Intercept that her parents were New Deal Democrats. Yet Harry, one of Warren’s best friends in high school, distinctly remembers Warren being an “ice-cold Republican,” as she would sometimes tease her.” What makes this stand out is that she can’t blame her upbringing. She embraced right-wing Republicanism of her own accord, only to switch teams late in her career.

In her heart of hearts, she is a capitalist. More from Thompson: ““That’s her fundamental framework—she’s a believer in economics,” says Johnson, her UT-Austin colleague. “It’s just that she now shifts to protect consumers.” “Throughout the years we worked together, she’s always been focused on markets,” Westbrook adds. “Both of us believe very much in markets.”” She is and always will be a capitalist, political rhetoric aside. And worse still, she remains in line with American imperialism, the other side of the coin to American capitalism. Sonja Krieger (Elizabeth Warren Votes for Massive Increase of War Budget) makes a scathing criticism: “Once again, Senator Warren, a “progressive” Democrat, demonstrates that she is no different from the establishment of both capitalist parties. She, like the rest of the Republicans and Democrats, supports exorbitant budgets that mean more imperialist wars, more deaths of innocent people, and the continued neglect of the basic needs of American workers at home.” That was from a couple years ago, but still applies. More recently, Sarah Lazare wrote (Elizabeth Warren Can and Should Do Better on Foreign Policy):

“Yet none of these articles take a close look at Warren’s track record on war and militarism, despite the fact that the realm of foreign policy is where presidents have the most power to act without Congress (thanks in part to Obama’s unfortunate expansion of presidential powers to make war). It’s as though the United States existed in a vacuum, with only domestic matters to attend to; in reality, we are the biggest military empire in human history, with eight hundred military bases around the world and US commandos deployed to 75 percent of countries.

“Once Warren’s foreign policy record is scrutinized, her status as a progressive champion starts to wither. While Warren is not on the far right of Democratic politics on war and peace, she also is not a progressive — nor a leader — and has failed to use her powerful position on the Senate Armed Services Committee to challenge the status quo.

“While she’s voted for military de-escalation on some issues, including ending the Yemen War, she’s gone along with some of the most belligerent acts that have occurred under her watch, cheerleading Israel’s devastating 2014 war on Gaza and vocalizing her support for sanctions against Venezuela. Even judged according to the spectrum of today’s Democratic Party, which is skewed so far to the right on war and militarism it does not take much to distinguish oneself, Warren gets an unsatisfactory grade: not the last in her class, but far from first.”

To put that in context (Alexander Rubinstein, Elizabeth Warren and the Military Industrial ComplexElizabeth Warren and the Military Industrial Complex), “her apparent hostility towards defense contractors is new – in the past, her fiery rhetoric was mostly directed towards financial institutions. It’s also not reciprocated – the defense lobby has given glowing reviews of Warren as a Senator. […] “I have seen the senator and her team take a very active role in defense matters in Massachusetts,” Joseph Donovan, a former aide to then-Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney and now a defense lobbyist in the state, said. “I’ve been in roundtables that her office has organized with major defense contractors and small businesses.” […]

“After Warren was elected and reached out to defense firms like Raytheon and General Dynamics, the unnamed executive told Politico that “there’s certainly not an impression that she’s adversarial” to defense giants in the state. Raytheon, one of the biggest employers in Warren’s state, where it’s headquartered, “has a positive relationship with Sen. Warren, and we interact with her and her staff regularly,” Michael Doble, a spokesman for the company, said.”

So, in the context of far right-wing DNC positions on plutocratic corporatism and military imperialism, she is a moderate. She occasionally wants to reign in some of the worst abuses, even as she goes along with other areas that are equally as bad. There is no principled consistency that makes her a political leader and moral exemplar. More importantly, that puts her far to the right of the American public. Why would I support that morally depraved vision of America by voting for her? Just because she is not the worst of the worst? That isn’t good enough. Even on a safe Democratic issue such as environmentalism, she has spent her political career being silent and uninvolved (Benjamin Storrow, Elizabeth Warren on climate change: Who knows?; & Ben Adler, Is Elizabeth Warren Really a Leader on Global Warming?). So, what is one of her strengths? Like Joe Biden, Warren works well with Republicans (Elana Schor, Here’s how much Elizabeth Warren works with Republicans, compared to other 2020 Democrats), and her being a former Republican probably helps. Wait, is that a positive?

Bernie Sanders is more radically progressive not only on economics in his specifically targeting economic injustice and inequality. He is also even more radically progressive on foreign policy (Jonathan Wiggs, Where Is Elizabeth Warren’s Fire in the Realm of Foreign Policy?). Warren really is Bernie Lite. And she is rather a latecomer at that. Warren didn’t shift somewhat left until she was middle age, whereas Sanders has been strongly progressive for longer than Warren has been alive. She won’t even take a strong position on campaign financing, an issue that should be the most basic no-brainer for anyone who genuinely believes in democracy (Emily Jashinsky, Elizabeth Warren hates money in politics, keeps taking campaign donations from rich lobbyists and corporate executives; Christine Rosen, The Democrats’ ‘Dark Money’ Hypocrisy Audacity.). All in all, a vote for Warren is a vote for what exactly? Maybe some mild economic reforms to prop up a declining capitalist system, but nothing that is too antagnoistic to corporations and big money donors. That isn’t impressive.

* * *

Here is an example of the deceitfulness of corporate media, even when it is supposedly leftist media. In The Nation, Jet Heer wrote (Elizabeth Warren’s Ideas Dominated the Debate More Than Her Stage Presence):

“Yet a word count doesn’t fully measure Warren’s undeniable impact. The striking fact of the night was the degree to which Warren’s aggressive progressivism was accepted by almost all her rivals as a baseline for the party.”

What a blatant lie. The aggressive regressivism of corporate media is horrifying at times. Bernie Sanders is almost entirely erased from acknowledgement. Warren, with the help of corporate media, stole Stander’s thunder. And that is after the corporate media worked with the DNC to exclude Sanders from the nomination. They never give up with their games of power.

From the comments section:

Kathryn Levy says:

Most of the progressive ideas being debated last night would never have entered the mainstream dialogue without Bernie Sanders’ courageous candidacy in 2016. And he continues to move the needle by insisting on a true single payer health care plan (something that Elizabeth Warren has waffled on before last night), a groundbreaking K-12 education plan, a plan to eliminate all student debt, and numerous other policies that Warren barely mentions. I am used to the mainstream media erasing Sanders name from discussions. It’s sad to see that happening in The Nation.

Larry Gilman says:

I’m glad to see Sanders getting any credit at all here, but a subordinate clause in the last sentence is an odd place for him to get it.

That whole conversation last night, and the one we’ll hear tonight? Sanders shaped it. He broke that ice. He made these terms possible, even unavoidable. It’s plain history that in 2016 he stepped out on the national stage and unexpectedly changed what was possible, even obligatory, in Democratic presidential politics — Medicare for All, you name it — and this whole primary race, including the debate, reflects that history. E.g., Warren calls for banning private prisons now, and that’s truly welcome, but as recently as 2015 she wasn’t ready to cosponsor a bill with that exact aim, the Justice Is Not for Sale Act . . . Bernie’s bill.

Credit where due: Warren gets a lot right. But if we’re talking about who put left politics on the national stage in a whole new way, about whose ideas shaped that debate, Bernie should be way more than an afterthought.

https://www.jacobinmag.com/2019/06/democratic-debate-winner-bernie-sanders

Caleb Melamed says:

It’s interesting to look back on the history of 2015- 2016. The originally-contemplated progressive champion was initially Warren, not Sanders. She had first dibs to be Clinton’s progressive opponent. She never went through with that challenge, partly, it is likely, because The New York Times (a bastion of pro-Clintonism throughout 2016) started writing negative articles about her. Sanders then became the only progressive Democratic presidential contender. With his democratic socialist orientation, he moved the yardstick of generally acceptable positions far more than Warren ever would have at that time.

* * *

With Warren getting so many debate questions, anybody want to believe the DNC hasn’t got this rigged?
by Monica Showalter, American Thinker

After nakedly rigging the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016 for Hillary Clinton, Democrats have bent over backwards to try to persuade their electorate that they wouldn’t dream of doing the that this time.

They declared themselves “neutral” in this Twitter poll here. They handed out 20 slots for their 24 candidates in this week’s debates even though that many no-hopers mixed in with the possibles made for an unwieldy set-up in two ten-person tranches which also cost them more. “The critical imperative is making sure everyone feels their candidate got a fair shot,” Perez told Politico. Even Bernie Sanders has woke up after three years and smelled the coffee, given that he was the one who got the put-up job. Perez also had a slip of the tongue earlier this year and admitted the 2016 party process “was rigged” before backtracking. Rigged? Hey, no rigging this time.

Bzzzt! Fooled ya twice, hyuk, hyuk, hyuk!

Based on the number of questions Elizabeth Warren got, compared to those of her rivals, it was pretty clear we know whom the party is tilting toward. Warren was quick with lots of words crammed into tiny spaces in her answers and didn’t actually get the most actual airtime, (John Hinderaker at Power Line actually checked) but she did get the most questions, the most camera shots drawn to her. She also got lots of favorable press saying she actually won the whole debate, and well, I didn’t think she actually won — I thought she was babbly and didn’t project presidential gravitas, she was like an old lady at the dean’s office giving her prissy prescriptions. But all the lefty moderators couldn’t get enough of what she thought, and well, who do you think they took marching orders from? These are the same people who won’t let anyone onto their network unless they talk about impeaching President Trump. These are the same people Tucker Carlson exposed as being in unnatural collusion with the Democratic National Committee, something of no embarrassment to them, though it should be. We know who they’ve taken marching orders from in the past.

Elizabeth Warren embraced by debate moderators
by Dan Gainor, Fox News

NBC and MSNBC embraced Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts in the first debate of Democratic presidential candidates Wednesday night, treating her like the star of the show. The debate led off with Warren, who had a huge popularity advantage from the start. […] Moderators let her dominate the early part of the debate, when most people were likely watching.

NBC anchor Savannah Guthrie started it off sounding more like Warren’s press secretary. “You have many plans – free college, free child care, government health care, cancelation of student debt, new taxes, new regulations, the breakup of major corporations,” Guthrie said, before teeing up an economy question. Guthrie even used Warren’s plan to break up tech companies as the foundation for a question for Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey.

The networks did it again halfway through. At 10 p.m. EDT, after some embarrassing tech issues that let Warren mull a question for several minutes, the debate went full-on pro-Democrat. NBC brought in bigtime liberal MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow and “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd. Once more they turned to Warren to set the agenda by asking her a gun control question;

“We are less than 50 miles from Parkland, Florida, where 17 people were killed in a school shooting last year and where there has been significant activism on gun violence ever since,” began Todd.

And, in case that wasn’t clear enough, the round-robin final comments also ended with Warren, as Maddow asked her for the “final, final statement.” That let NBC bookend the entire debate with Warren and Warren.

Democratic debate: Cory Booker gets most airtime, NBC hit with tech issues
by Rob Tornoe, The Philadelphia Inquirer

Booker ended Wednesday’s debate with the most airtime among all the candidates, overtaking Warren, who dominated the first hour. […] Despite holding a somewhat smaller presence in the second half, Warren was asked the first question of the debate, and offered the final closing statement. […]

Warren, the only candidate on the stage tonight polling in the top five, garnered the most camera time during the first 30 minutes of the debate. The senator from Massachusetts got the first question, and spoke twice before multiple candidates on the crowded stage had even talked once.

The amount of time Warren was getting prompted complaints from the family of at least one candidate sharing the stage.

The big debate story: Elizabeth Warren wasn’t the big story
by Joan Vennochi, Boston Globe

With Elizabeth Warren positioned in the middle, the stage was set for the Massachusetts senator to solidify the perception that she’s the Democrat who can beat former Vice President Joe Biden in the primary and then President Trump.

While Warren had a strong start, she didn’t dominate the debate, and at times, went strangely silent. Her disappearing act left room for others […]

But the big story of the night was that Warren wasn’t the big story of the night. She went into the night with the wind of a punditry in search of a contender whose name isn’t Biden behind her. Stories of her high school debating prowess were woven into the pre-debate build-up, the better to intimidate her rivals. She’s inching up in the polls, at least to the point of being able to surpass that cranky, old socialist named Bernie Sanders. Her dog, Bailey, is a hit on Twitter.

And she has a plan for everything. The first question she got was whether her plan for the economy is risky, given polling that shows most people think it’s doing well. She answered it with a question: “Who is this economy really working for?” That’s a theme that works well for her. When she was asked if she has a plan to deal with Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, she paused and said with great timing, “I do.” Her plan: For Congress to “reflect the will of the people.” Some might call that wishful thinking.

She had nothing to say about immigration, and held back when others were fighting for a chance to say something about anything. Staying above the fray works for now. But when this field winnows, Warren will have to mix it up with rivals who may bring more than plans to the debate stage.

* * *

Bernie: introduced S.2054, in 2015, to end private prisons
Warren: made a blog post, last week, about ending private prisons
Where is Warren’s detailed policy proposal to abolish the private prison industry? And why didn’t Warren cosponsor Bernie Sanders’ legislation in 2015?

Talk is cheap. Sanders has boots on the MFing ground doing work

Now that Biden is slipping, the DNC and MSM have begun the furious re-branding of Warren. Warren didn’t back Bernie or his policies in 2016 and threw her support to the centrist that was rigging the primary in the hopes she could get a career boost.

Bernie introduced the bill against private prisons back in September 2015, but Warren wouldn’t sign on to it. Here is what I got from @OpenSecretsDC but her name was not on it for donations.

Bernie has been rolling progressive policy proposals as well as Warren. He actually has released more detail plans than her and many of his plans have been filed as legislation in Congress (her plans have not). Yet the corporate media pretends he has no plans

And why didn’t the media cover it in 2015?

All these receipts coming back to haunt Warren. We just gotta keep asking why she’s just now coming around to these ideas when Bernie’s been trying to pass them for years.

Warren is desperately trying to steal Bernie’s thunder. #WhichWarren #Bernie2020

Bernie: addresses problems of all magnitudes for all citizens every day. Liz: goes to the immigration camps the day of the debate.

The evolution from Republican to Democratic Socialist is a long and uneven process of becoming.

Why doesn’t she do so now? After all, Bernie made a point of saying he considers her a friend. Is she saying she doesn’t return his friendship?

Why did Warren refuse to run in 2016, refuse to even endorse the only progressive candidate with the courage to run against Hillary and then give Hillary her super delegate vote?

Warren was busy kissing the rear end of Hillary Rodham Clinton to co-sponsor progressive legislations. Haven’t you heard? She’s a coward and opportunist.

Warren is using the usual neoliberal excuse for general election donation corruption of “refusing to unilaterally disarm.” This excuse was used to Obama and Hillary. We can infer that corporations will be very interested in vetoing all of her “plans.”

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Figurehead President

For many years, I’ve held the position that the president is mostly a figurehead. I’m not sure where this idea came from, i.e., how it ended up in my head. I suppose it isn’t an unusual thought to have. But I just noticed this quote by Douglas Adams from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, the book he is most well known for:

“The President in particular is very much a figurehead — he wields no real power whatsoever. He is apparently chosen by the government, but the qualities he is required to display are not those of leadership but those of finely judged outrage.”

That might explain the origin of my view. I read that book decades ago. Who knows what other ideas Adams may have implanted in my brain matter. This is why every young person should read Douglas Adams and shouldn’t read Ayn Rand. The crap you read when young has a way of getting permanently lodged in place.

The rest of the quote seems more relevant than ever:

“For this reason the President is always a controversial choice, always an infuriating but fascinating character. His job is not to wield power but to draw attention away from it. On those criteria Zaphod Beeblebrox is one of the most successful Presidents the Galaxy has ever had — he has already spent two of his ten presidential years in prison for fraud.”

Accordingly, one suspects Trump might become one of the most ‘successful’ Presidents the United States has ever had and maybe the entire Earth. But I don’t want to inflate Trump’s ego too much. Still, it can’t be doubted that he likely will provide the greatest distraction the world has seen in a long time.

Now I’m imagining Donald Trump as Zaphod Beeblebrox.

My Thoughts During Election Night

Before the Election Results Started Coming In 

————-

I’m curious about how likely others think Romney could win.
 
I remember that earlier in the campaign season all of the MSM experts kept stating that no recent president was ever re-elected with that high of unemployment numbers. That seemed mostly irrelevant to me for I saw a different dynamic going on. I predicted long before even the campaigns began that the election was Obama’s to lose. I still see it that way.
 
The real issue has been how willing Obama was to fight for it. I must admit that Obama hasn’t consistently fought hard in his campaign, especially in the first debate. The election would never have even gotten this close if Obama hadn’t started out of the gate so slow.As an independent, it is hard to get too excited about the whole thing. But it is fascinating from a larger historical perspective. We are in the middle of a major shift right now such as with racial demographics which is why the GOP has been so motivated to push voter suppression.
 
Does anyone think the GOP attempt at voter suppression has been successful enough to have a significant impact? Who feels Obama should have campaigned harder against this voter suppression and focused on it in his speeches?

The swing states typically are Midwestern states.
 
This is the same regional dynamic that has existed since the Civil War. The North eternally has to maintain the Midwest to keep the darkness of the South at bay. We Midwesterners live on the geographic boundary of ideologies and of cultures.
 
The Southern aristocracy didn’t like American democracy when they sought to first force slave laws onto the entire country and, failing that, when they sought to secede. The Southern aristocracy still doesn’t like American democracy. There is good reason for this. Their continued power is dependent on it.

If all Americans or even just all Southerners voted, the present Republican party would never win a single election. The large part of the population that doesn’t usually vote, especially in the South, votes Democratic when they do vote. If political participation increased, the South would be solid Blue. That simple fact scares shitless the Republican ruling elite and, sadly, scares many white people.

The saddest part about being a liberal American is knowing that you are part of the majority. On many key issues, the average American are surprisingly liberal. Polls showed, for example, that most Americans were dissatisfied with Obamacare because it wasn’t far enough to the left.
 
Why this is sad is that we have a conservative political system. It was intentionally created this way because the founding fathers were afraid of the lower classes which is why after the founding of the country only something like 8% of the population had the right to vote. This is why the electoral college was created. Most Americans don’t understand this. Americans don’t vote for the president. Rather, Americans vote for the people who vote for the president.
 
The problem with the electoral college system is that, because of demographics, it empowers the groups that have maintained power throughout US history. Low population states tend to be rural and rural areas tend to be conservative and white. Because of the electoral college, the vote of white conservatives is worth more than the votes of typical urban residents: minorities, liberals, feminists, gays, environmentalists, etc.
 
Along with political disenfranchisement, this is why the left has had to work harder to reach out to more Americans while conservatives can focus narrowly. If every American’s vote was counted equally, we would regularly have presidents far to the left of Obama.

After the Election Results Started Coming In

 
I heard the best comment tonight on Public radio.
 
They were discussing the Republican strategy of going for the white vote. One of them said that Republicans were hoping the white vote would be a winning strategy at least through this election before whites shift toward their position as the new minority. He then added, “The future came early.”
 
I’m glad to hear it. I’ve seen this shift coming since 2000. Republicans have been using a strategy that isn’t sustainable. And by doing so, they turned the growing minority majority and an entire new generation against their party. In time, they will come to realize what a steep price they have paid.
 
Will Republicans finally wake up to reality now that the future has slapped them in the face? They attempted voter suppression and now they’ve been publicly shamed. Last election, the youth and blacks gave victory to Obama. Now, women and Latinos have shown the GOP what power they have. The tide has turned.
 
I remember when I first heard about Romney picking Ryan. I instantly realized that Republicans were repeating the same strategy from 2008. They put forward a bland white professional politician and then paired him with a Tea Party right-winger. Since it didn’t work in 2008, why did they think it would work in 2012?

As an Independent, I don’t care about the partisan politics. I’m still not a fan of Obama or a supporter of the Democratic Party. No matter which of the two parties wins, the third parties I love always lose.
 
But in the end, I’m just another typical liberal who wants everyone to get along. Republicans have made clear that they don’t want to get along. Romney stated in no uncertain terms that he despise 47% of Americans. Other Republicans have said equally disgusting comments from claiming legitimate rape to dismissing minorities.
 
I don’t want to hate on Republicans. I don’t want conservatives to go away. Rather, I want them to the table as equals treating others as equals. I want to see them chastened and humbled. The right can get very ugly when they get full of themselves. Nonetheless, their voice matters as everyone’s voice matters in a democracy. I want them to understand this.
 
Republicans have a choice. They can learn a lesson and change their ways. Or else they quickly find themselves heading toward a fate of third party status… which is how the Republican Party began.
 
I understand that Republicans are afraid. I want them to know everything is going to be all right. America is a strong country. It is diversity that makes America strong. I hope they know that there always will be an open invitation to them to join the rest of Americans. We are all in this together.
 
Republicans hear this: Liberals, minorities and poor people aren’t your enemy. We are your potential allies in turning this country toward the future.

I’m constantly wondering what would allow conservatives to let go of their fears.
 
Obama is a socialist? Comparison shows that Obama holds the positions and promotes the policies that have been typical of moderate Republicans for much of the last century.
 
Democrats stole the election? Nonpartisan research shows voter fraud is extremely rare.
 
The fears of conservatives have nothing to do with reality or facts. They create things to fear and then they go about fearing their fearful creations. They don’t fear anything specific. They just fear anything that is new and different. They fear change. The fear they have never goes away because it simply shapeshifts into something else.
 
It’s sad. I understand fear. We all deal with fears. The world can be a scary place. It’s not like us on the left are living in a leftist utopia where all our dreams come true. We on the left fear growing tyranny more than even conservatives.
 
The difference is that conservatives have a way of getting stuck in a mindset of fear. Liberals can get pulled into fear like anyone else and it brings out the worse in liberals, but it isn’t where liberals like to dwell. Optimism is the natural resting point of the liberal predisposition. Liberals are curious about the new and tend to get more excited about the possibility of change.
 
Even conservatives are capable of thinking outside of fear. During economic good times, conservatives can become quite open and accepting of the world around them. But such moments don’t tend to last long and so the conservative never remains for long outside of fear. There is always another thing to fear just around the corner.But does it have to be that way?

We humans are capable of doing so much when we work together. All of civilization is a collective achievement. On the other hand, when we don’t work together, humans are vicious and destructive. Conservatives tend to only be inspired toward collective action when they wish to fight some perceived enemy and even then it isn’t really collective action so much as it is emotional groupthink, their group against everyone else, just an extension of self-interest.

What needs to change to help conservatives to trust democracy and believe in the American Dream again? What would help them to see strangers as potential friends and allies instead of enemies? What would help them to see all Americans as real Americans, to see all humans as worthy humans? What would help them to believe that win/win solutions are possible and desirable?

Masculinity & Presidency, Sexism & Politics

Katz: Sure. Well, the first thing I think that I look at in my work, and I think it’s really fundamental and basic, is that there is a persistent gender gap in voting patterns in the United States. And among white men in particular, white men have been voting radically disproportionately for the Republican nominee for president for the last 40 years. And working class white men, and there’s different ways of defining working class, but with a high school education, men with a high school education, voted in 2000 for George Bush by something like 27 points over Al Gore, and Kerry, about 25% voted for Bush over Kerry in 2004. Barack Obama cut into that pretty significantly in 2008, although he still lost the white men’s vote.

David: That’s right.

Katz: But he lost it by like about 16 percentage points, so he made some significant inroads into the white men’s vote. But if you look at white male voting patterns, the only way a Democrat can win at the national level, in the presidency, is if they win so… such a dramatic percentage of the women’s vote that it offsets their deficit among the white male vote.

David: That’s right.

Katz: And so how can we not talk about gender? Why are white men so dramatically voting for the Republican candidate for president? Now, some people, of course, for the last… since the Civil Rights Act have been talking about race as one of the central forces subtextually at work in presidential politics.

David: And it’s being talked about looking forward also because of the increasing Hispanic population and how that will play a factor.

Katz: That’s right. And of course, Obama being an African American, that brought to the surface a lot of discussions about race and politics and such that had always been there, but they were talked about even more explicitly, would white people vote for an African American for president, etc.

My thinking is that it’s not just that white men are voting as a racialized block for the Republican candidate, although that’s a big part of it, they’re also voting in a gender sense as men because since, especially since the late 60s and early 70s, and then increasingly after the 1980 election of Ronald Reagan, the way that the two-party system has been sort of shaken out, if you will, in the gender binary is the Republican Party is the party of real men…

David: Right.

Katz: And the Democratic Party is the party of women and feminized men, and that has heterosexist implications as well.

David: Sure.

Katz: Because the party is seen as, the Democratic Party is seen as the party of gay rights, if you will, in addition to the men in the Democratic Party feminized in the national discourse. And I think this is a cultural/political analysis, right? I think that this is an incredibly important reason why lots of white men, including working and middle-class white men, vote against their economic interests, at least as some of us understand those economic interests.

David: No question about it.

Katz: Right. So this complicates the analysis of, say, Thomas Frank and others who have been trying to figure out why so many Americans, especially white Americans, have voted against their economic interests for the past generation.

David: You mentioned the issue of gay rights, and we saw that really incredibly directly and just at the forefront in the discussion of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. I mean, I interviewed people who said the reason we shouldn’t have homosexuals serving openly in the military is because the American military is manly. And implicit in that, even though it’s not discussed, is that there’s something bad about, you know, femininity and women in the military. And when I challenged some of those people directly, it was made very clear that that is involved in that subtext, just barely underneath the surface. But other than that particular issue, what else is it that has driven this white male voting block towards the Republican candidate?

Katz: Well, in my book that I’m working on and just about to complete, I look at three issues. There’s so many issues, and so you have to really narrow it. But…

David: Yeah. Well, the major ones maybe are…

Katz: Yes. Yeah, sure. I looked at three issues that all involve violence, and they all involve important political issues over the past 40, 50 years. The first one is the cold war, the second one is the rise of street crime as a domestic political issue in the United States in the 1960s and 1970s, and the discussion about, you know, violent crime, street crime, has a definitely racialized undertone to it, and then the rise of terrorism as a political issue in the late 20th century and into the 21st century.

All three of those issues, cold war, domestic crime, and terrorism, have to do with violence, and the president is a stand-in, in a certain sense, the symbolic leader of the country. He embodies, if you will, the national masculinity in a very important sense. People talk about the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, the mourner-in-chief when national tragedy happens, the first family, the… I mean, he’s the one who everybody salutes to and everybody stands when he enters the room. He really does, in a certain sense, represent the country.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jackson-katz/teachable-moment-in-tucso_b_809963.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jackson-katz/rush-limbaugh-and-the-mob_b_279696.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jackson-katz/white-men-and-the-gop-mas_b_124136.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jackson-katz/the-hidden-race-and-gende_b_88580.html

 

Politics, Personality, and Character

Politics, Personality, and Character

Posted on Oct 13th, 2008 by Marmalade : Gaia Child Marmalade
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/25335299/   

Republican presidential nominee John McCain has spent months positioning himself as the heir to Ronald Reagan’s conservative movement. Recent poll data, however, show that his Democratic opponent perhaps better embodies some of Reagan’s key personality traits.  

http://www.csbsju.edu/uspp/Obama/Obama_Personality-Profile_2007.html

The personality profile yielded by the MIDC was analyzed on the basis of interpretive guidelines provided in the MIDC and Millon Index of Personality Styles manuals. Sen. Obama’s primary personality patterns were found to be Ambitious/confident and Accommodating/cooperative, with secondary features of the Outgoing/congenial pattern.
The combination of Ambitious, Accommodating, and Outgoing patterns in Obama’s profile suggests a confident conciliator personality composite. Leaders with this personality prototype, though self-assured and ambitious, are characteristically gracious, considerate, and benevolent. They are energetic, charming, and agreeable, with a special knack for settling differences, favoring mediation and compromise over force or coercion as a strategy for resolving conflict. They are driven primarily by a need for achievement and also have strong affiliation needs, but a low need for power.
The major implication of the study is that it offers an empirically based personological framework for anticipating Obama’s likely leadership style as chief executive, thereby providing a basis for inferring the character and tenor of a prospective Obama presidency. 


http://www.csbsju.edu/uspp/Obama/Obama_Jittan_1-4-2008.html

Transformational

Using a standard assessment procedure developed at the Unit for the Study of Personality in Politics at the College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University, we generated a personality profile for Sen. Obama. The profile reveals that Obama’s most prominent personal attributes are confidence, assertiveness, and congeniality.

In office, the behavior of confident, ambitious leaders like Obama is characteristically shaped by four core qualities: power, pragmatism, ideology, and self-validation. As persons with a strong belief in their talents and leadership ability, power is an important driver for their leadership behavior and they favor pragmatism as a way of ensuring their own success. Because of extraordinary confidence in their own ideas and potential for success, they are strongly motivated by ideology and a desire to transform society. Finally, their high-self-esteem stimulates a corresponding need for affirmation, resulting in a quest for personal validation.


Ambitious, goal directed

Ambitious, confident leaders like Obama are more goal- than process oriented. This implies that their own advancement and success is more important to them than compromise or maintaining good relations with colleagues.

By the same token, they also are more likely to act as advocates for their own policy vision than as consensus builders or arbitrators. However, because of their pragmatic nature, they will act in a cooperative or harmonious manner when they see it as furthering their self-interest.


Charismatic

Obama’s combination of confidence, assertiveness, and congeniality fits the profile of a charismatic leader; he is ambitious, dominant, and outgoing, which enables him to advance a personal vision, inspire followers, and connect with people.

The outgoing pattern in Obama’s personality profile, a quality he shares with presidents Clinton and George W. Bush, Gov. Mike Huckabee, and Sen. John McCain – yet notably absent in Sen. Clinton – may be key to his meteoric rise to prominence and electoral success thus far in the 2008 election cycle. Ironically, in view of President Clinton’s “roll the dice” comment noted above, Obama shares more of Bill Clinton’s charismatic personality traits than any of the top-tier candidates in either party.
He will be a tough candidate to beat. In fact, Obama’s greatest obstacle may not be whether he has the right personal qualities or the requisite experience to lead, but the readiness of America to elect an African-American to the highest office in the nation.


http://www.csbsju.edu/uspp/Obama/Clinton-Obama_London_3-3-2008.html


http://www.csbsju.edu/uspp/McCain/McCain_Sweetman_1-7-2008.html


http://www.csbsju.edu/uspp/McCain/McCain_Personality-Profile_2007.html

The personality profile yielded by the MIDC was analyzed on the basis of interpretive guidelines provided in the MIDC and Millon Index of Personality Styles manuals. Sen. McCain’s primary personality pattern was found to be Dauntless/dissenting, with secondary features of the Outgoing/gregarious and Dominant/controlling patterns.
The combination of Dauntless and Outgoing patterns in McCain’s profile suggests a risk-taking adventurer personality composite. Leaders with this personality prototype are characteristically bold, fearless, sensation seeking, and driven by a need to prove their mettle.
McCain’s major personality strengths in a leadership role are the important personality-based political skills of independence, persuasiveness, and courage, coupled with a socially responsive, outgoing tendency that can be instrumental in connecting with critical constituencies for mobilizing support and implementing policy initiatives. His major personality-based limitation is a predisposition to impulsiveness, one manifestation of which is a deficit of emotional restraint.


http://www.csbsju.edu/uspp/ExecutiveSummaries/McCain.html

Sen. John McCain’s personality-based leadership strengths include:

  • the important personality-based political skills of independence, persuasiveness, and courage;
  • a socially responsive, outgoing tendency that enables him to connect with people;
  • skills and talents that can be employed to mobilize support and implement his policies; and
  • a dauntless, confident orientation conducive to the cut and thrust of political life and potentially useful in crisis situations.

Sen. John McCain’s personality-based leadership limitations include:

  • impulsiveness and lack of emotional restraint;
  • a tendency to make unguarded, imprudent remarks that may undermine his political capital;
  • a rebellious nature, accompanied by intolerance of delay or frustration and low thresholds for emotional discharge, particularly anger and hostility;
  • a potential for taking unnecessary risks and failing to plan ahead.


http://www.csbsju.edu/uspp/McCain/McCain’s_’histrionic’_personality.html

First and foremost it must be pointed out that, as with all personality patterns, the outgoing pattern occurs on a continuum ranging from normal to maladaptive. At the well-adjusted pole are warm, congenial personalities. Slightly exaggerated outgoing features occur in sociable, gregarious personalities such as Bill Clinton. And in its most deeply ingrained, inflexible form, extraversion manifests itself in impulsive, self-centered, overdramatizing, histrionic behavior patterns that may be consistent with a clinical diagnosis of histrionic personality disorder. In a nutshell, then, this is the essence of the outgoing personality pattern:

  • Characteristic behavior. Outgoing personalities are typically friendly and engaging. In more intense form these personalities are livewire, animated bon vivants. In its most extreme, often maladaptive form, histrionic personalities are flamboyant, self-dramatizing thrill-seekers with a penchant for momentary excitements, fleeting adventures, and shortsighted, hedonistic self-indulgence. As leaders they tend to lack “gravitas” and may be prone to scandal, predisposed to reckless, imprudent behaviors, with a penchant for spur-of-the-moment decisions without carefully considering alternatives.
  • Personal relations. Outgoing personalities are demonstrative, amiable, and display their feelings openly-anger included. In more extreme form, gregarious individuals may be shallow, superficial attention-seekers highly attentive to popular appeal. Finally, the full-blown histrionic is likely to be flirtatious and seductively exhibitionistic, actively manipulating others to solicit praise, approval, or attention. In a political leadership role, these traits translate into a strong need for validation, one manifestation of which may be an overreliance on polls as an instrument of policy formulation.
  • Mindset. Outgoing personalities are not paragons of deep thinking or self-reflection; they typically avoid introspective thought, focusing, instead, on external matters. In its more crystallized form, this personality style is exemplified by a superficial, often “thoughtless” mode. Finally, in their most distilled form, histrionic personalities are poor integrators of experience; they are slow to learn from their mistakes. Politically speaking, this tendency may result in scattered learning, poor judgment, and flawed decision-making.
  • Temperament Temperament refers primarily to activity level and the character and intensity of emotional experience. Outgoing personalities are emotionally expressive, responsive, spirited, and lively. People with more exaggerated variants of the outgoing pattern may be overexcitable and moody, with frequent-though short-lived-emotional displays. In its most maladaptive form, the histrionic personality is impetuous, mercurial, and capricious, being easily enthused and as readily angered or bored. Leaders with this personality pattern are skilled at staying in touch with the mood of the people but also prone-as at least one observer in the Clinton White House has put it-to periodic “purple rages.”
  • Self-image Outgoing personalities are confident in their social abilities, typically viewing themselves as affable and well liked. In stronger doses, extraversion translates into a charming sense of self. In its most distilled form, the histrionic’s self-perception has a hedonistic character, epitomized by a self-indulgent image of attracting acquaintances through pursuit of a busy, pleasure-oriented lifestyle. In politics, outgoing personalities, more than any other character types, are political animals strongly attracted to the lure of campaigning; they thrive on the validation of self offered by adulating crowds and the frenetic, connect-with-people activity on the rope line.
  • Self-regulation. The preferred stress-management strategy of outgoing personalities is to engage in self-distracting, mindless activities, often in the form of games or physical diversions. In maladaptive form, histrionic personalities employ the defense mechanism of dissociation (or so-called “compartmentalization”) to cope with conflict and anxiety. The political implications of dissociation include a leader’s failure to face up to unpleasant, dissonant thoughts, feelings, and actions and facile, complemented by cosmetic image-making as revealed in a succession of socially attractive but changing facades.

I conclude this analysis with the caveat that my initial assessment of John McCain’s personality, based on his autobiography and other materials in the public domain, departs from the analysis of McCain’s naval examiners. In my opinion, the outgoing pattern is of secondary significance in McCain’s overall character structure. Of greater primacy is a dauntless, dissenting personality pattern, which McCain shares with Minnesota governor Jesse Ventura and, to a lesser extent, George W. Bush.

As a parting thought-lest we come too quickly to conclusions concerning John McCain’s character-consider this: With the exception of Richard Nixon and Jimmy Carter, outgoing candidates have prevailed in every presidential contest since Franklin D. Roosevelt.

http://convention3.allacademic.com/meta/p_mla_apa_research_citation/2/0/4/5/2/p204527_index.html  
McCain’s primary personality pattern was found to be Dauntless/dissenting, with secondary features of the Outgoing/gregarious and Dominant/controlling patterns. Giuliani’s primary personality pattern was found to be Dominant/aggressive, with secondary features of the Conscientious/dutiful and Ambitious/confident patterns. The combination of Dauntless and Outgoing patterns in McCain’s profile suggests a risk-taking adventurer personality composite. Leaders with this personality prototype are characteristically bold, fearless, sensation seeking, and driven by a need to prove their mettle. The combination of Dominant and Conscientious patterns in Giuliani’s profile suggests an aggressive enforcer personality composite. Leaders with this personality prototype are tough, uncompromising, and believe they have a moral duty to punish and control those who deviate from socially sanctioned norms. McCain’s major personality strengths in a leadership role are the important personality-based political skills of independence, persuasiveness, and courage, coupled with a socially responsive, outgoing tendency that can be instrumental in connecting with critical constituencies for mobilizing support and implementing policy initiatives. His major personality-based limitation is a predisposition to impulsiveness, one manifestation of which is a deficit of emotional restraint.  

http://www.apa.org/monitor/nov04/president.html  

Twenty-seven percent of American voters claim they choose presidential candidates primarily on the basis of the nominee’s character and moral values, according to a poll conducted after the 2000 elections. However, candidates with a solid character–straightforward, dutiful and disciplined–often run into trouble being an effective president, says Steven J. Rubenzer, PhD, a Houston-based clinical psychologist and co-founder of the Foundation for the Study of Personality in History. In fact, a tendency to tell the truth can actually harm a president’s shot at being considered historically “great,” he says.  

—  

Those presidents who received high marks from historians tended to be smart, have ambitious goals and be willing to bend the truth, according to results published in Rubenzer’s new book–co-authored with retired clinical psychologist Tom Faschingbauer, PhD–“Personality, Character & Leadership in the White House: Psychologists Assess the Presidents” (Brassey’s, 2004). And these findings converge with previous research by political psychologists such as Dean Simonton, PhD, at the University of California, Davis, who finds that intelligence, as measured by a combination of personal achievements, analysis of a president’s interests and scores on the personality measure openness to experience, predicts presidential success above all other individual factors.  

—  

“Openness overlaps with intelligence because to some degree you have to be intelligent to appreciate new experiences,” explains Simonton. “People who are low in intelligence, their systems are overwhelmed by the very rich environments that are attractive to people who are open to new experiences.”  


However, the personality factors that increase candidates’ chances for success in office are not necessarily the same as those that help them get elected, psychologists say. For example, intellectual brilliance seems negatively related to a president’s margin of victory, finds Simonton.
“The ones who are the most intellectually brilliant are often barely elected,” he says. “They have trouble speaking in sound bites and communicating with the public.”

While intelligence can make for a good president but a bad candidate, achievement-striving–or the tendency to work toward lofty goals–may benefit presidents both on the campaign trail and while in office.
“Achievement-striving means people have high goals, but more importantly, they work hard to achieve them,” says Rubenzer. “They stay focused; they are kind of workaholics.”

In contrast, research by psychologist David Winter, PhD, at the University of Michigan, finds that achievement motivation, defined as a drive to do things well, may be a hindrance for presidents in office.

“People high in achievement motivation do best when they have large amounts of personal control,” says Winter. “They become frustrated by the bureaucracy of politics.”
Indeed, in Rubenzer’s personality analysis Carter, who historians note as stymied by the checks and balances of the presidency, scored very high on achievement-striving–in the top 1 percent of all former presidents. However, Carter had two fatal personality flaws: a lack of assertiveness and a tendency to be straightforward, notes the psychologist.
“A president has to influence, either by deceit or forcefulness,” says Rubenzer. “When you see those two scores on someone who is otherwise so qualified you think, well, maybe that is the reason.”

http://www.apa.org/releases/presidents.html  

Results of the research indicate that great presidents, besides being stubborn and disagreeable, are more extraverted, open to experience, assertive, achievement striving, excitement seeking and more open to fantasy, aesthetics, feelings, actions, ideas and values. Historically great presidents were low on straightforwardness, vulnerability and order.  

—  

It may come as no surprise that the research shows that most modern presidents are clearly extraverts. However, the data indicates that the early presidents scored below average on this factor. Does that mean that presidents are becoming more extraverted, or that the entire population has become more extraverted? The researchers say their data can’t answer that question, but “given the increasing role of the media in presidential elections, the more plausible explanation is that the change is limited to the presidents and not the general population.”    

http://www.personalitiesinhistory.com/Presidency_Project.asp  

Presidential traits described in 'The Personality and the Presidency Project' The ability to lie and deceive is an important quality for success in the White House, and presidents who are less straightforward typically make better presidents.
Presidential traits described in 'The Personality and the Presidency Project' Despite his recent popularity and reputation for integrity, John Adams’s personality closely resembled Richard Nixon’s.
Presidential traits described in 'The Personality and the Presidency Project' Presidents are much more Extraverted today than in the past and less intellectually curious than in the past. They may also be lower in character.
Presidential traits described in 'The Personality and the Presidency Project' Jimmy Carter is the only modern president that much resembles Founding Fathers Jefferson and Madison and the greatest president of the 19th century, Abe Lincoln. Eisenhower is the only modern president much like Washington.
Presidential traits described in 'The Personality and the Presidency Project' Franklin Roosevelt seems to be the template for modern presidents, with recent presidents showing high (Kennedy, Clinton) or moderate (LBJ) similarity to him. Reagan resembled his as well.
Presidential traits described in 'The Personality and the Presidency Project' Modern Democratic presidents tend to be very Extraverted, achievement-oriented, ebullient, and sympathetic to the poor, but are willing to deceive and relatively unprincipled.
Presidential traits described in 'The Personality and the Presidency Project' Modern Republican presidents tend to be less sympathetic to the less fortunate and much more inclined to rely on traditional sources of moral authority than average Americans.
Presidential traits described in 'The Personality and the Presidency Project' George W. Bush appears to have fewer traits related to presidential success than most presidents. He most resembles Andrew Jackson and Ronald Reagan.

 
http://www.personalitiesinhistory.com/Types_of_Presidents.asp  

Types of Presidents


© Steve Rubenzer, 2004
DominatorsThe Dominators include LBJ, Nixon, Andrew Johnson, Andrew Jackson, James Polk, Teddy Roosevelt, and Chester Arthur (in order of inclusion).

They are prone to bully others and to disregard the feelings and rights of those not on their side. They are bossy, demanding, and domineering; they flatter or manipulate people to get their way. They bend or break rules, and as presidents, stretch the constraints of constitutional government. They are not religious or spiritual, and tend to be prejudiced.

IntrovertsJohn Adams, John Quincy Adams, Richard Nixon, Herbert Hoover, Calvin Coolidge, James Buchanan, Woodrow Wilson, and Benjamin Harrison.

Introverted presidents are psychologically minded, complex, deep men. They are not regarded as warm and friendly, and have difficulty controlling social situations. They prefer to work alone and avoid close relationships. Often jittery or tense, they are not happy and high-spirited; they tend to feel irritable, overwhelmed by stress, and to overreact.


© Steve Rubenzer, 2004

© Steve Rubenzer, 2004
Good GuysHayes, Taylor, Eisenhower, Tyler, Fillmore, Cleveland, Ford, and Washington.

Good Guys almost never feel themselves to be worthless, are rarely jittery or tense, and don’t feel overwhelmed by stress. They make good decisions even under adversity. They have a hard time lying, aren’t crafty or sly, and don’t trick, bully or flatter people to get their way. They don’t spend much time fantasizing and daydreaming but don’t deny problems.

InnocentsTaft, Harding, and Grant

Innocents are submissive and accept domination easily, and are “gullible, naive, suggestible.” Not autonomous, independent or individualistic, they sometimes don’t assert themselves when they should. Compared to other presidents (who are an industrious lot), they have trouble getting motivated and down to work, and are lethargic, sluggish, lazy, and slothful.


© Steve Rubenzer, 2004

© Steve Rubenzer, 2004
The ActorsThe Actors group includes Ronald Reagan, Warren Harding, William Henry Harrison, Bill Clinton, and Franklin Pierce

Compared to other presidents, Actors are gullible, naive, and suggestible, warm and self-disclosing; they allow their feelings to show on their faces and in their posture. They are not meticulous, perfectionistic, or precise; they tend to waste time before getting to work, and tolerate unethical behavior in colleagues. Actors are enthusiastic, spirited, vivacious, zestful, charismatic, and charming.

Maintainers This group contains William McKinley, George H. W. Bush, Gerald Ford, and Harry Truman

Maintainers stay focused on the job, work slowly but steadily, and are “industrious, persistent, tenacious, thorough.” They are “uncreative, unimaginative,” and do not indulge in elaborate daydreams and fantasies. They are conforming and conventional, not rebellious.


© Steve Rubenzer, 2004

© Steve Rubenzer, 2004
PhilosophesJames Garfield, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Jimmy Carter, and Rutherford Hayes.

Compared to other presidents, Philosophes are curious and inquisitive, interested in science, and fascinated by patterns in nature and art. They are concerned with philosophical issues (e.g., religion, the meaning of life), have many interests, and enjoy solving brain-twister puzzles. They see themselves as broad-minded and believe that students should be exposed to new ideas and controversial speakers.

Despite being analytical, logical, and good at math, they value art and beauty and are attentive to the moods of different settings. They are also “nice” people: They believe that everyone is deserving of respect and prefer complimenting others to being praised themselves.
ExtravertsFDR and Kennedy form the kernel of this cluster, and are followed by Bill Clinton, Theodore Roosevelt, Ronald Reagan, William Harrison, Warren Harding, Andrew Jackson, and LBJ.

Extraverted presidents are enthusiastic, spirited, vivacious, and zestful; they call attention to themselves. They are “impetuous, uninhibited, unrestrained,” are not consistent, predictable, or steady. They indulge their impulses and show their feelings through their faces and body language. They have a flair for the dramatic but are not dependable and responsible. They don’t take pride in being rational or objective.


© Steve Rubenzer, 2004

http://www.personalitiesinhistory.com/2004_Elections.asp
        
http://www.personalitiesinhistory.com/Predicting_Success.asp   

What is the Right Stuff to be a Successful President?
Using our data, Professor Deniz Ones of the University of Minnesota identified the following personality factors as predictors of presidential success:


Rated Intelligence
– Intelligence is related to success in almost any complicated job, from CEO to NFL quarterback. Although we did not have intelligence test scores, we did ask our raters how intelligent, inventive, insightful, complex, and wise they perceived the various presidents to be. Those that received high ratings, like Jefferson, Teddy Roosevelt, and Wilson, performed better than those who are rated as less gifted, like Harding.


Assertiveness
, or dominance, is the capacity to influence through one’s presence and ideas. It is the single most important trait to presidential success. Presidents are an assertive group, and on the average score higher than eight of ten typical Americans. Better presidents like the Roosevelts, Wilson, and Jackson score higher than average chief executives. Truman was the only successful president who was less assertive than his peers. Low scorers include Harding, Taft, and Coolidge.


Positive Emotions
– A president’s optimism and enthusiasm are important for performance on the job, but also for getting elected. Enthusiastic and high spirited presidents like the Roosevelts, Clinton, and Kennedy are typically more successful; low scorers are reserved and serious, like J. Q. Adams, Hoover, and Nixon. Washington was the only truly successful low scorer on this scale.


Activity Level
– Highly energetic chief executives like TR, LBJ, and Carter tend to be rated higher on this scale by historians than more placid characters like Grant, Taft, and Coolidge.


Achievement striving
(having high goals and working towards them in a systematic and focused manner) is an obvious asset and is related to success in most all walks of life apart from the arts. Two of the lowest scorers, Grant and Harding, are widely regarded as presidential failures. High scorers include a number of undisputed “greats” like Teddy Roosevelt, Wilson, and Washington, but also more ambiguous performers such as Carter, Nixon, and LBJ.


Low Straightforwardness
– Historians tell us that a president’s credibility is essential to the ability to lead. Yet, the tendency and ability to deceive is correlated with historians’ ratings of presidential success. Great presidents, such as Lincoln and FDR, have tended to bend the truth more than a little. Both managed to be both a moral leader and an artful politician. Grant and Fillmore were more honest, but also less effective.


Tender-Mindedness
(concern for the less fortunate) predicts both presidential success and ethical behavior on the job. FDR and Lincoln scored high on this quality, while Buchanan and Nixon scored low.


Competence
– High scorers on this scale seek appropriate information when faced with a decision, have good judgment, and are broadly capable – like Washington and Eisenhower. Low scores include the lowest ranked presidents Harding and Grant, but also the impetuous and successful Andrew Jackson.


Low Vulnerability
– Presidents who feel unnerved by stress and unable to cope with problems on their own (score high on Vulnerability) are likely to be given low marks by historians. Emotionally hardy presidents, like Washington and Teddy Roosevelt, tend to do better than more Vulnerable chief executives, like Harding and the Adams’s.
These are the only traits that have been empirically shown to have a distinct and unique relation to presidential success. “Character” was unrelated to historians’ rating of presidential greatness.
  http://www.andycrown.net/presidential_personality.htm   
Presidential Personality

 

Dimensions of personality according to James David Barber in The Pulse of Politics (New York: W.W. Norton, 1980).
1) Activity or Passivity

How much energy does a president invest in his presidency?
2) Positiveness or Negativeness toward the job of president

Does the president enjoy his job?  Does he enjoy exercising power?  Does the job make him sad or discouraged?
*These dimensions are closely related to dimensions of dominance/submissiveness, extroversion/introversion, and optimism/pessimism.
Types of Personality
1. Active positive

A president who spends a lot of energy and enjoys his job.  This type of president tends to have high self-esteem.  He tends to be productive in pushing programs through.  He is flexible enough to try something else when his plans are stymied.  He wants results.

FDR, Harry Truman, John Kennedy, George Bush (The first Bush presidency)
2. Active negative

A president who spends a lot of energy but does not enjoy his job.  This type tends to have low self-esteem.  Expands his energy compulsively to compensate for some shortcoming or to prove to others that he is a person to be reckoned with,  Seeks and tries to retain power.  Is rigid when stymied.  He wants to get and keep power.

Woodrow Wilson, Herbert Hoover, Lyndon Johnson
3. Passive positive

A president who does not spend much energy but nevertheless likes the job.  Tends to have low self-esteem and compensates for this by seeking affection instead of power.  He does this by being agreeable and cooperative rather than assertive.  He wants affection.

William Howard Taft, Warren Harding, Ronald Reagan
4. Passive negative

A president who does not spend much energy and does not like the job.  He becomes president because he thinks he should, out of a sense of service to the country.  He wants the grim satisfaction of doing his duty.

Calvin Coolidge, Dwight Eisenhower, Richard Nixon


http://www.politicaltypes.com/content/view/24/56/
  

NTPs tend towards independent more than towards either party but tend towards Republican slightly more than Democrat.
STJs tend towards Republican more than Democrat but tend towards Democrat more than independent.
ENFs tend to be equally distributed between Republican and Democrat.  

ISTJ
Dem  
30%
Rep  
42%
Ind  
28%
ISFJ
Dem  
34%
Rep  
36%
Ind  
30%
INFJ
Dem  
49%
Rep  
22%
Ind  
29%
INTJ
Dem  
19%
Rep  
40%
Ind  
41%
ISTP
Dem  
28%
Rep  
38%
Ind  
34%
ISFP
Dem  
33%
Rep  
26%
Ind  
41%
INFP
Dem  
38%
Rep  
22%
Ind  
40%
INTP
Dem  
17%
Rep  
34%
Ind  
49%
ESTP
Dem  
27%
Rep  
35%
Ind  
37%
ESFP
Dem  
39%
Rep  
31%
Ind  
31%
ENFP
Dem  
34%
Rep  
31%
Ind  
34%
ENTP
Dem  
26%
Rep  
28%
Ind  
45%
ESTJ
Dem  
32%
Rep  
46%
Ind  
22%
ESFJ
Dem  
33%
Rep  
37%
Ind  
30%
ENFJ
Dem  
35%
Rep  
35%
Ind  
30%
ENTJ
Dem  
26%
Rep  
40%
Ind  
34%

 
http://www.thembtiblog.com/2008/10/mbti-preferences-of-republicans-and.html  

Republicans preferred INTJ, ENTJ, ESTJ, and ISTJ (the executive types). The ESTJs are more than twice as likely as the INFPs and INFJs to be Republicans.

Democrats were typically NF or INFJ. In fact, those people with a preference for Feeling are more likely than other types to identify themselves as Democrats.

Independents preferred NTP.  

http://www.personalityzone.com/user/KipParent/view/blog/politics-genes-and-temperament.html

  • Artisans are about 10% more likely to be registered as Democrats than as Republicans or Independents. They are the least likely to actually vote in an election.
  • Guardians are about 10% more likely to identify themselves as Republicans than as Democrats, and are the least likely of the temperaments to be Independents or apolitical. They are also the most likely to vote.
  • Idealists are 17% more likely to be Democrats than Independents, and 34% more likely Democrats than Republicans.
  • Rationals are the most likely to identify themselves as Independents or apolitical. For those that are party members, they are 45% more likely to be Democrats than Republicans.
Raw results:
Apolitical Dem Rep Lib Ind Green Likely to vote
Artisans 9.6% 28.2% 25.4% 5.9% 24.1% 6.9% 47.5%
Guardians 9.1% 29.6% 32.5% 3.4% 21.4% 4.1% 60.0%
Idealists 12.6% 28.3% 21.2% 6.2% 24.7% 7.1% 56.4%
Rationals 13.8% 25.6% 17.5% 7.9% 28.0% 7.2% 58.4%

    
http://www.personalitypage.com/political_affil.html  

Percentages of political affiliation amongst types.  

http://209.85.173.104/search?q=cache:X1nCcq-HLaEJ:www.aptinternational.org/assets/jptvol67_0307_apti.pdf+republican+democrat+%22mbti%22&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=7&gl=us  

“SJs were overrepresented in persons reporting very conservative political views, and Ns were overrepresented in persons reporting very liberal political views (ENTJs excepted).”  

FFM Openness to experience factor correlates to Intuition.  

Type is correlated with party affiliation but not party registration.
STJ – Conservative   
NFP – Liberal  Inuitives show more interest in politics.
Introversion (and Sensation) correlated to a sense of political alienation.
Thinking correlated with being for the death penalty.
Perceiving correlated with being pro-choice about abortion.  

http://www.mypersonality.info/personality-types/famous-people/  

  Protectors (SJ)

ESTJOverseer ESFJSupporter ISTJExaminer ISFJDefender
Lyndon B. Johnson William McKinley George Washington
James Monroe Andrew Johnson
Andrew Jackson Benjamin Harrison
William Henry Harrison Herbert Hoover
Grover Cleveland George H. W. Bush
George W. Bush Harry Truman

  Creators (SP)

ESTPPersuader ESFPEntertainer ISTPCraftsman ISFPArtist
James Buchanan Ronald Reagan Zachary Taylor Millard Fillmore
Bill Clinton Ulysses S. Grant

  Intellectuals (NT)

ENTJChief ENTPOriginator INTJStrategist INTPEngineer
Franklin D. Roosevelt John Adams Dwight D. Eisenhower Abraham Lincoln
Richard Nixon James A. Garfield Thomas Jefferson James Madison
Rutherford B. Hayes Woodrow Wilson John Quincy Adams
Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt Chester A. Arthur John Tyler
Calvin Coolidge Gerald Ford
James K. Polk

  Visionaries (NF)

ENFJMentor ENFPAdvocate INFJConfidant INFPDreamer
Martin Van Buren

 
http://www.keirsey.com/picking_president_temperament.aspx     

Elections Since 1960
Year Winner Temperament Loser Temperament
1960 Kennedy Artisan Promoter Nixon Guardian
1964 Johnson Artisan Promoter Goldwater Rational
1968 Nixon Guardian Supervisor Humphrey Idealist
1972 Nixon Guardian Supervisor McGovern Guardian
1976 Carter Guardian Supervisor Ford Guardian
1980 Reagan Artisan Performer Carter Guardian
1984 Reagan Artisan Performer Mondale Guardian
1988 Bush-41 Guardian Protector Dukakis Guardian
1992 Clinton Artisan Performer Bush-41 Guardian
1996 Clinton Artisan Performer Dole Guardian
2000 Bush-43 Artisan Promoter Gore Rational
2004 Bush-43 Artisan Promoter Kerry Idealist

 
http://www.personalityzone.com/user/KipParent/view/blog/rating-the-candidates-4-personality-as-the-differe.html  

John McCain is the Republican Party’s secret weapon in this election, should they decide to nominate the most electable (of the 4 I’ve looked at so far, that is) of their candidates.  Why is McCain the most electable, even though he is languishing well behind the front-runners in most primary polls?
Simple.  McCain is the only Artisan in the bunch.  Of the major Republican candidates, McCain has been the most straight forward to figure.  You get what you see – he really doesn’t seem to have any hidden agenda.  Like most STP Artisans (think Donald Trump or General George Patton), he is a man “in the moment”, not prone to introspection or giving careful thought before reacting to circumstances.

While McCain’s Artisan traits have not endeared him to the largely Guardian Republican base who decide the the primaries, they make him a winner with the independents who actually decide the November election. Remember, these voters are not strongly focused on issues, but on how much they “like” the candidate.  In fact, in both personalityZone’s surveys and CNN’s head-to-head polls, McCain is consistently the strongest of the Republican candidates against each of the Democratic front runners.  More than 100 years of consistent voter behavior in choosing Artisans in the November elections is still true today.


http://www.personalityzone.com/user/KipParent/view/blog/rating-the-candidates-7-personality-as-the-differe.html
  

Like Hillary Clinton and Mitt Romney, Obama is a Rational, most likely an INTJ Mastermind.  This comes through in his communication style – he has an exceptional ability to paint a vision, to communicate abstract pictures of the future that make sense to people, and his utilitarian approach to action –  looking for what “works” rather than “what’s been done before” or “what is ‘right'”.  

—  

While he is not an Artisan, his ability to connect with people is almost as strong, giving him the best ability outside the true Artisan candidates for garnering the uncommitted voters needed to win in November. 

http://www.slate.com/id/2184696/pagenum/all/#page_start  

Hillary Clinton – ESTJ
Barack Obama – ENFP
John McCain – ESTP  

http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=MWVmZWRkZDhiZTk3ZTBiNTZlZmFlNTc5NjdkZmYyZTE=   

Obama’s mistake is that he confuses being phlegmatic with being presidential. Hippocrates, the father of medical science, devised a system of grading personalities in the fifth-century B.C. that has never been more relevant. He described those with phlegmatic temperaments as harmonious, calm, easygoing, and diplomatic – precisely the traits that the current campaign coverage suggests we should want in any occupant of the Oval Office.

McCain, by contrast, is what Hippocrates would call choleric. Cholerics are passionate, decisive, opinionated, stubborn, and driven. To paraphrase one notable choleric, Franklin Delano Roosevelt (largely regarded as a great president), there is nothing cholerics love so much as a good fight. McCain’s temperament is, in part, what enabled him to survive imprisonment and torture at the hands of the Viet Cong.

Liberals will fret that the impulsive, passionate McCain has a temperament ill-suited for a president, yet it is those defining characteristics of the choleric – zeal, decisiveness, perseverance, a certainty of opinion on fundamental matters of right and wrong and on our core national values – that make McCain the better choice for the office. Not to lose one’s temper in the face of evil is actually dysfunctional and in certain cases downright dangerous. The real question is, then, not whether McCain has a temper (he most certainly does), but why Obama doesn’t and whether that matters.

Well, it does matter. The affable Obama is less-suited for the office because of his tendency to equanimity. The inclination to avoid confrontation and seek consensus, though admirable, are not the principal traits we should want in the person on whose desk the buck stops. The desire for everyone to get along too often leads to acquiescence and compromise, and a failure to do what is necessary in time of crisis (think of the indecisive Jimmy Carter and his mishandling of the Iran hostage crisis). That is not to say that dispassion and diplomacy have no place. They do, but you probably want them in a secretary of State, not the denizen of the Oval Office.  

——————————————————————————————————————-

Enneagram types of candidates.  

http://www.enneagraminstitute.com/FORUM/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=21386  

http://64.233.169.104/search?q=cache:6lyeJeCJ2J0J:blackfirewhitefire.blogspot.com/2008/09/enneagram-and-politicians.html+obama+mccain+enneagram&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=4&gl=us  

http://everydayenneagramblog.blogspot.com/2008/08/enneagram-personlity-types-of.html  

http://ptypes.disqus.com/ptypes_barack_obamas_enneagram_type_the_peacemaker_9w1/  
——————————————————————————————————————-

Narcissism  

http://researchnews.osu.edu/archive/narcissism.htm  

http://www.canada.com/saskatoonstarphoenix/story.html?id=0318e3e7-4f42-429c-861a-545b330a7960  

http://www.maccoby.com/Articles/NarLeaders.shtml   

http://pods.gaia.com/is_there_a_god/discussions/view/350021#350021

——————————————————————————————————————-

Political Leadership for the New Century
By Linda O. Valenty, Ofer Feldman

http://books.google.com/books?id=MGXpQDNrPsgC&pg=PA85&lpg=PA85&dq=%22Millon+Inventory+of+Diagnostic+Criteria%22+MIDC&source=web&ots=1ow5LMK–E&sig=Xhz8ft1D77f0bdt_z1UwL2EFluQ&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=1&ct=result#PPR1,M1 

Access_public Access: Public 5 Comments Print // Post this!views (849)  

Marmalade : Gaia Explorer

about 12 hours later

Marmalade said

By the way, I should mention that besides a few summarizing notes the writing in this blog comes from the links.  I merely pulled out the relevant excerpts and put them in order to create a more complex picture of different ways personality can be used to view politics.  Gathering all of this together took me about a week or so.  That is all the motivation I had for this project.  Given anothe week I could’ve summarized it in my own words, but that didn’t seem necessary. 

I don’t have a whole lot of personal opinion about the matter.  I decided to do this blog because it interests me and I thought it would be a good alternative viewpoint to all the mindless media diatribe.  I’m not a big fan of politics, but I am very curious about how psychological and sociological dynamics play out on the largescale.

There is one fundamental distinction that I’d particularly like to point out.  McCain has a preference for the Sensation function.  Obama has a preference for the Intuition function.  Those two functions represent the clearest division between Republicans and Democrats.

On the other hand, the Republicans and Democrats have respectively been called the Daddy and Mommy parties.  This is reminiscent of gender differences in the Judging functions (Thinking and Feeling)… and also the gender differences in Hartmann’s boundary types.  I’ve heard that traditionally Westerners have based their ethics on the Judging functions.  The fact that the Perceiving functions have become a greater focus might represent a shift in our culture.

On a personal note, I’m an INFP and my parents are both TJs.  NFPs are some of the most liberal of the types and TJs tend toward the conservative.  True to our personalities, my parents and I follow the pattern.  It makes me wonder about the real reasons for why we believe what we do.

An interesting complexity is the fact that personality correlates to party affiliation but not to party registration.  So, its possible that conformity to social standards of family and community may play a stronger role than does personality.

Marmalade : Gaia Explorer

about 13 hours later

Marmalade said

McCain is an interesting case.  After his POW experience, he was involved with psychological testing.  I read that he might be one of the most well-researched politicians because of this.  Most politicians try to hide that kind of information.

I think all presidents should be given psychological (and intelligence) testing.  And I think that such testing should be made a public part of the campaign process.  Ultimately, we are electing a person and I think its only fair we actually know who we are electing.  Psychological testing is predictive of behavior and so it would be helpful in determining what politicians will do versus what they say they’ll do.

1Vector3 : "Relentless Wisdom"

about 24 hours later

1Vector3 said

Wow. Everything we never knew we wanted to know !!!!!

This definitely goes beyond media prattle, and thank you for that !!!!

I think any one perspective oversimplifies, as per the choleric vs phlegmatic argument for McCain over Obama. As if values and perspectives and past actions weren’t important.

I guess I am a one-issue voter: Who will do the least damage to my freedom and the freedom of others? !!! For that, I rely less on personality and character than past record and stated values and proposed actions.

In the present case, it’s clear to me who is the lesser of the two weevils (Obama, but not by a whole lot lot.) That’s about the best the current society has to offer. At least so it appears on the surface. Perhaps there is actually more choice than that between the two, in favor of Obama. We shall see.

I don’t think politics is the level on which a society changes, so like you (but perhaps for different reasons) I have a very limited span of interest in political matters. Borrrrrrrring.

Blessings, OM Bastet

Marmalade : Gaia Child

1 day later

Marmalade said

I don’t know if that was everything we never knew we wanted to know, but I’m glad you enjoyed it.  I didn’t intend to blog about this exactly.  I just was thinking about personality types in the context the ongoing campaign.  After I’d come across a bunch of info I figured I might as well share.  I was already somewhat familiar with some of this personality info.  Lots of interesting info.

Yes, politics can get quite boring when overexposed to the media talking heads and idiotic campaign ads.  More enjoyable are some of the political satire.  Have you watched any of the Saturday Night Live debate parodies?  The Onion also has some hilarious parodies about the campaigning.  Maybe that’d would make a better blog than any of this.  🙂

Marmalade : Gaia Child

2 days later

Marmalade said

I’m pissed off!  I just wrote this page long response and my computer turned off right when I was about finished.  Why does a computer always mess up only after you’ve almost completed whatever you’re doing?

Basically, what I was writing about is what orignally motivated me to write this blog.  Obama appears young and vibrant, charismatic and confident.  McCain appears the complete opposite.  He seems like a griping old man.  This campaign hasn’t brought out the best in McCain and Palin hasn’t lived up to the hopes people had in her improving McCain’s image.

Some months ago, I came up with a hypothesis.  Whichever candidate has the best presence is the one who will be elected.  Issues are important but they aren’t what gets a candiate eected, but certainly the economy is helping Obama.  Obama has both personality and the issues working in his favor.  This is why McCain has gone on the attack which is just making his poll numbers go down, but McCain has no other choice (besides simply giving up).

If personality wasn’t an issue, then it would be a fair fight between Obama and McCain.  I don’t know to what degree I would like an Obama presidency, but it would be nice to have a president who actually acts presidential.  McCain, on the other hand, is essentially no different than Bush except he has doesn’t have the easygoing friendliness and joking nature… which is the only good thing Bush has going for him.

By the way, I’m not necessarily for Obama.  But I’m definitely not for McCain.  My assessment of these two candidates isn’t as a voter.  I’m probably more likely to vote for a third party if I vote at all.  I strongly dislike the two party system.  My assessment is simply a matter of personality.  It isn’t about the best man winning but rather about the man with the best image.

Bill Maher on Obama

I totally agree with Maher’s view on Obama.   I wish Obama was more liberal and more tough on big business.

In a recent post (The Authoritarians and the Bush Family) I wrote about the views of Russ Baker.  One thing I meant to mention was that Baker thinks Obama is either (intentionally or unintentionally) essentially the same as Bush on many of the major issues.  Baker pointed out that this isn’t to say that Obama is part of some conspiracy, but it’s simply that the powers that be are so institutionalized and so well established that it may not matter who gets elected president. 

Between the CIA and big business, a president is constrained by so many power players behind the scenes that have enormous influence.  A president has the choice of playing along with these covert forces or else become impotent in trying to get anything accomplished. 

The far right is worried about socialism.  What they should be worried about is some form of fascism.

All of this isn’t conspiracy theorizing.  It’s simply looking at the facts and realizing that there is more going on than what is presented in the news.  The nefarious history of the CIA and big business is there for anyone who wants to know.  It’s not esoteric knowledge.  Just spend a few months doing detailed websearches and buy a few select books, and the obvious will become apparent to you.