Politics and charismeh

No, that’s not a typo.

I voted in our primary, of course, and a few thoughts emerged.

First, I voted in the afternoon and was disappointed there was no cupcake sale by the school kids stationed in the hallway. Sigh. Then I learned it wasn’t because I was voting late but because the school was closed for Rosh Hashanah. So I voted and left without my usual election day sweet. Sigh.

Maybe more significant, I’ve been alarmed for years about people’s predilection for adoration and worship in general, but especially when they expand this desire to politicians.

There’s a peculiarly un-euphonious word for it: afflatus. So the question is, why do so many voters need to be overcome by afflatus, swept up into a quasi-religious fervor by…a politician?

Charisma, it’s called. Charismeh, I say, because it is not what I require in a politician. If you do, I ask you to reconsider. If it’s charisma you insist on, you’re asking not for someone to elect to governmental office but for a perfect godlet to worship, a quasi-religious experience.

If, having first fulfilled my political ideals, a politician has charisma, I’ll stomach it. But I do not like politicians who hector; I do not respond well to being yelled at, and in my observation, people who hector are regarded as charismatic, and are far too interested in crowd reaction, far too enamored of being demigods, i.e., demagogues.

In all my reading, I’ve been picking up voters’ angry, aggressive drive to find that pol with charisma. The anti-Trump. Let’s dump Trump and replace him with bigger and better charisma. People are still clinging to Bernie, trashing Hillary, sniping at people who don’t have that charisma. Loving people whom they decide have that charisma.

Wearying. For the very little it’s worth — and it’s worth almost nothin’ — there are a bunch of politicians I’ve been paying attention to who are really, really smart, fluent, knowledgeable, passionate; people who have strong values, law degrees (my big thing–governance is legislation and legislation is law).

Despite a snarky piece in the Times, I don’t think that Democratic Senators on the Judiciary Committee are “using” their questioning to audition for a presidential run. I viewed them as using their questioning period to…question.

(Note to NYT: you’ve been trading in snark ever since you assigned Maureen Dowd to cover campaigns. Snark instead of substance. It’s become your, uh, style. While I know how to get the facts out of your articles, i.e., read through the snark, it’d be such a relief if you cut the crap so I didn’t have to work so hard. P.S. Snark may have been “stylish” when Maureen was first sashaying around but I don’t think it’s stylish anymore.)


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