17 August 2012

Primaries as Political Food Processor: How We Get Bland Leaders

Abraham Lincoln was subject to depression. Winston Churchill regularly began drinking before noon. FDR was in a wheelchair. Countless leaders of consequence had sweeping personality flaws, mistresses, and any number of conditions that would get them quickly ejected from today's primary process.

The problem isn't that we have good reporters who ferret out every flaw and mishap. The problem is that these good reporters don't know how to predict what any of this will mean for a leader. It also seems to suggest that they don't know the difference between getting 98% on a terribly pedestrian exam and getting 54% on the creation of something brilliant. The price for flawless perfection is usually obsolescence: people creating as they go along make more errors than people who are following a proven process.

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