Sunday, January 10, 2016

Obnoxiousness Is the New Charisma

Frank Bruni, NYT, JAN. 9, 2016

IN a typical presidential campaign, the most successful candidates lay claim to leadership with their high-mindedness. They reach for poetry. They focus on lifting people up, not tearing them down. They beseech voters to be their biggest, best selves.

Not the two front-runners in this freaky Republican primary. They’re unreservedly smug. They’re unabashedly mean.

If you’re not with them, you’re a loser (Donald Trump’s declaration) or you’re godless (Ted Cruz’s decree, more or less). They market name-calling as truth-telling, pettiness as boldness, vanity as conviction. And their tandem success suggests a dynamic peculiar to the 2016 election, a special rule for this road:

Obnoxiousness is the new charisma.

(More here.)

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