Presidential image and voting

In the age of iPods, image is king. Images are more than proof, suggestion, or art. The image is reality. Nowhere else is this more true than in the presidential elections. Our need for images to guide us through reality has emptied out any substantial value once existent in the candidates. Now all that remains are the images they project for us to choose. Our presidents are Big Macs and Whoppers, barely discernable and a far stretch from a T-bone steak. Among the different guiding archetypes of the political image are: the everyman, dynasty, youth and experience.

The modern Republican image is Ronald Regan, the father of modern Conservatism. Regan served as California's governor for almost a decade when he ran for president. His vice president, George Bush Sr., represents dynasty and experience appealing to Republicans. George Bush Sr. was an oilman, Director of Central Intelligence and general politician for many years. However, I believe the dynasty image is what ultimately dethroned Bush.

While Democrats try to appeal to populist and underprivileged movements, it is perhaps our country's greatest irony that most Democratic presidential candidates are equally deeply-rooted in dynasties.

The Kennedy dynasty is the symbol of the golden years of Liberalism. John Kerry resembled this Kennedy dynasty image with his wealth, connections, and affluent dignity. I believe he did not become president because he too strongly mirrored the dynasty.

The American people are afraid of dynasties, even though we produce and support a great deal of them. Kerry's dignity was too lofty and rich for the average American to identify with. While Bush and Kerry are both children of dynasties, Bush seemed more like the average American: dumb, opinionated, dictated by irrational religious convictions and little to no public grace. We ate him up and elected him twice.

Now, winning Democrats do not resemble the dynasty format. They must resemble the common people, the everyman, in order to retain an image of sincerity and loyalty to the underdogs of America they profess to represent.

Kerry and Gore both proved the dynasty-politician image fails to win support from the American people. Bill Clinton won not because he was experienced; he was the third youngest man to become president. Nor was it because he was deeply rooted in political or economical dynasties. Bill Clinton was a gifted Southern boy who achieved the American Dream. He was charming and eloquent. Bill Clinton, as a political image, was the equivalent to an everyman Kennedy, the youth without the distrustful dynasty.

Sadly, image is the driving factor in the elections of American presidents. How else could George W. Bush be elected twice? Why else would a former NSA director and vice president be defeated by a "Boy Governor?" Even though the Information Age has allowed all American citizens to check the truth behind candidates with numerous publications online and more than a dozen news channels with differing focuses, we do not posses the curiosity to thoroughly check every candidates.

Images are the shortcut to these decisions and explain the irrationality of American voting. American voting turnout is seemingly low because those who refuse to vote are the most rational voters, they know nothing and leave voting up to the informed.

Who should we vote for this time around? I have no idea. I do not know who I will vote for nor am I telling you which candidates are evil. I am simply telling you the American public do not possess the intellect or conviction to pick the rightcandidates. How else could our current president have defeated a Nobel Peace-Prize winner?

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