The Culture of Personality in Politics

Today marks the start of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio. The event features a line up of speakers ranging from military personal and entertainers to politicians and entrepreneurs. Following suit, the Democratic National Convention will kick off one week later in Philadelphia, PA.

There will be personality in abundance as charismatic leaders take center stage to promote their respective party’s platform, all of this leading to the federal elections. In November, voters will take to the polls in support of Donald Trump (R) or Hillary Clinton(D) out of the over 200+ political parties represented. But with a such an expansive field of political party affiliations, how do voters manage to narrow it down to two?

To elaborate, how have these two candidates managed to outlast their competitors? It was no secret that Senator Clinton has faced a federal indictment. Nor has anyone been oblivious to the fact Trump lacks any political experience while regularly making contradictory statements.

Before we begin though, we understand that donations from Political Action Committees (PAC’s), celebrity endorsements, and party affiliations per state have been huge factors. However, our argument is aimed more at dissecting the character of the candidates.

Going back to our original comments on the less than spotless record of both Trump and Clinton,  we know no one is perfect. However, the measuring stick used to gauge the moral fiber of the POTUS is usually regarded with high-esteem. Or is it?

If we were to judge the presidential candidates based solely on their character, there’s a good chance neither would be in their current positions. However, presidential elections have long been won on personality, and not character.

Before we move forward, let’s take a look at some information regarding Political Polarization.

Bipartisan-Infograph

This information taken from a 2014 study conducted the Pew Research Institute

Republicans and Democrats are more divided along ideological lines – and partisan antipathy is deeper and more extensive – than at any point in the last two decades. These trends manifest themselves in myriad ways, both in politics and in everyday life. And a new survey of 10,000 adults nationwide finds that these divisions are greatest among those who are the most engaged and active in the political process. – Pew Research Center

To better understand the sentiments of political polarization, have a look at this next graph.