I’m in the midst of reading one of the volumes of the biography of Winston Churchill by William Manchester called “The Last Lion.”  As recorded by Manchester, the British people at that time were very much concerned, not with personality, but with political issues as they impacted Britain and its allies prior to Hitler’s invasion of Poland.  I don’t know what the criteria are that Britons now use to vote for their Prime Minister, but I do firmly believe that in the U.S. personality trumps political issues in people’s minds in their decision for whom to vote. 

That’s why, especially since the advent of TV, candidates are packaged, handled, and managed by people who have them portray a saleable image, parse every word, and not commit oneself to a given position that might be onerous to his or her base and, if they should do so, realize that the memories of most of the electorate are quite short and those “promises” will relatively quickly be forgotten.  We can never underestimate the importance of “charm!” 

That’s why the likelihood of the actor/politician Fred Thompson’s entering the Republican primaries is daunting, to say the least.  He will likely win the nomination and, most likely, win the Presidential election because he’s tall, rugged looking, knows how to use the media, knows what people beyond his base want to hear, and is politically savvy enough to pull it off.  (I always felt that Giuliani would be the next President, but if Thompson enters the race, all bets are off.)

Listen to this:

Regarding Fred Thompson: “He can be kind of Reaganesque in his engaging with people,” said Ronald Coppinger, 47, a carpenter from Indianapolis, describing a plain-spoken style like the late President Reagan’s.

Regarding Hillary Clinton: “I think women relate more to the needs of people,” said cashier Jadine Robinson, 52, of Magnolia, Miss.

For the full article, see here.

Whether a Democrat or a Republican wins the Presidential race is largely irrelevant to the fate and fortunes of LGBT people unless there is far more political activism from the grass roots of the LGBT communities and allies (See the June 7th post on The Petrelis Files for what should be a wake-up call for the need for more political concern and activism.), the major LGBT Rights organizations become more visible and aggressive, and more of the electorate see how LGBT people have now taken the place of Afro-Americans in the 1950’s United States.

[Jerry blogs at A Christian Voice for LGBT Rights.]

Jerry Maneker

Jerry Maneker

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