Today’s quick thought

As we watch the slowly unfolding spectacle of a clueless narcissist attempting to occupy the job of President of the United States, there is an uncomfortable reality that we have to confront as a nation.
We tend to tolerate, and in some cases, enthusiastically embrace people who, in many respects, behave like assholes.
In business, politics, and athletics, and showbusiness, it is easy to find examples of top practitioners who, while respected and revered for their achievements, were defective (in some cases horribly defective) as people. Some of them were weapons-grade assholes.
Adding to the problem in the USA is the fascination with celebrity. When showbiz people regularly run and get elected to political office, that tells me something about how easily voters can be persuaded to support celebrities when they try their hand at politics.
Donald Trump is not some one-off outlier. He is merely the latest in a long line of celebrities to try his hand at being elected to political office.
There is a conceited assumption driving many successful people that they can be successful at Anything they turn their attention to. They believe it, those around them validate that belief, but the ultimate validation is if they get elected to office.
We are complicit in all of this at several levels.
Firstly, we allow assholes to rise to positions of power. Very rarely is an asshole told to STFU and learn to treat people better on the way up. Instead rationalizations abound like “he may be an asshole but he gets shit done”. We make excuses, and by doing so we enable the behavior.
Secondly, we venerate the assholes at the top as “Stars”, even while understanding partially that they are deeply flawed people. It is deemed to be impolite to point out the asshole tendency. At least until the person topples from grace, at which time it is like feeding time at the shark tank, and suddenly they are torn to pieces.
Thirdly, we cement the veneration by accepting blithely that the part-time celebrity with asshole tendencies can do Anything. When Ross Perot tried to run for President in 1992, hardly anybody had the bravery to point out that a country is not like a business, only bigger, which was the conceit driving Perot. He thought that he could run USA Inc. just like EDS. (He would have been severely disappointed).


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