Emotions and Candidates

I think there’s something wrong with us when one candidate’s show of emotion can get this much press time. I’m hoping that the public are much less excited about this than the press, but political commentators seem to be trying to make it a pivotal point in her campaign, part of that every shifting momentum that they loudly proclaim has changed with every new piece of un-news.

Hillary Clinton is not my favorite candidate for president, but she is not a bad candidate, and how much emotion she shows would likely not be a major issue if she were not a woman. I find this frenzy about a few moments of emotion, one way or another disgusting. I think it’s a major display of sexism, all the more dangerous because nobody wants to acknowledge it.

Let’s do a little bit more analysis of her policies, comparing programs, experience, and vision. The media needs to spend more time on substantive issues. They need to spend less time talking about themselves. So much of the coverage has to do with “what I (the journalist) did when I was with candidate x.” Little information is passed on.

Agree or disagree with Hillary Clinton, she has given us enough specifics in her record and in campaign position papers to occupy a good deal of discussion time. She may not be your favorite candidate or mine, but she deserves to be judged on that record, not on whether she displays precisely the right amount of emotion. I’ve found that one cannot display the right amount of emotion for everyone. I suspect that will be the case here. (My wife comments on this in her book on grief. People will actually criticize others for how they express grief at the loss of a loved one or in some other hardship situation. That is such arrogance!)

I’m going to contribute to this by writing blog posts on candidate’s positions, starting with health care proposals. I’m working on the research for that now.

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  1. Recall what a display of emotion did to Muskie in 1970. It’s thought to have cost him the nomination.

    I look forward to your substantive posts, though.

    1. I knew something was tickling at my mind when I was writing that, and that was it. Muskie. . . .

      But I’m not sure that truly negates my point. In fact, it’s interesting that a woman displaying emotion is a positive turning point, while a man doing so destroys his candidacy.

      The question, of course, would be what would happen with such emotion from a man today.

      In any case, I think too much is made of it.

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