Narcisstic Nation, Performer Politicians

In The Benjamin Button Election, published in the November 8 issue of New York magazine, Jennifer Senior asks and answers the question "Why Do American Voters Think Like Small Children".

Leftists who harbored unrealistic expecations that Obama could magically fix everything wrong with the world, she argues, have much in common psychologically with rightists who blame him for the same.

When people become more powerless, they become more distrustful of those who have power, and that, in turn, disempowers them more.

If we had a political system that valued leadership, or the actual job of legislating, this selection bias wouldn’t really be a problem. But we don’t. Instead, we have a system that rewards those with a boundless capacity to self-promote....

The main headliners of the tea party aren’t politicians but performers—and that includes [Sarah] Palin, whose passion for actual governance lasted only two and a half years before she chucked her Alaska governorship for a more lucrative media career, in which she could exist in perpetual opposition and with no accountability.

Read the whole article.