Our minds on media.

Musings on the effects of media on cognition.


I’m logging this one under “Mind Control” because I think this is one of the best essays in recent memory about what is really going on in the mind’s of politicians. We, as a country, and the media, have become so obsessed with taking sides on debates that we’ve really blinded ourselves to what makes a good leader. It is not their policies.1 It is not their stances on certain issues. What is the ultimate test of a good leader is how they run their organizations. Chip Collis makes the excellent point that the one respect in which W and HRC are alike is in the fact that they favor cronyism over being open-minded and diplomatic. And cronyism is what really did damage to this country over the last eight years, from “Rumsfield to Brownie.” Do we want more of that?

Chip Collis’ essay was insightful–an elegant saut right out of our country’s insipid left-right dichotomy. The American public needs to learn to recognize when they are dealing with leaders that are considerate, thoughtful, open-minded, as opposed to idealogues who will do anything to get their way. The problem is, they ALL claim they can reach across the aisles, but you really have to look at their record to see if they do. Kennedy surrounded himself with brilliant people and then listened to them. Bill Clinton was a good president because he knew how to do this, and he knew how to reach across the aisle when he needed to. Reagan, too. Republican members of the Illinois state-house regularly praise Obama for his knack for finding common ground. But as Collis’ assessment rightly points out, Hillary and Bush are alike in at least the respect that they wall themselves off from differing opinions and attend to their agenda blindly. Why else would have taken Hillary all this time to fire Mike Penn? Simple: loyalty before sanity.

Despite how much you agree or disagree with a candidates’ stances, the more important question is: “Will they surround themselves with advisors or parrots, and if it’s the latter, will they listen?”

  1. Most of the candidates policies will get radically change before any of it gets through Congress, anyway. 

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