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January 4, 2011 / hoopersx

The Cult of Personality

“Look in my eyes, what do you see?  I’m the cult of personality.  I know your anger, I know your dreams.  I’ve been everything you want to be!  I’m the cult of personality.”

2012 may or may not be the year that marks the end of the world.  But if not, here’s a date that wakes me at night:

February 17, 2016.

Unless my math is wrong, that is the day Paris Hilton is old enough to run for President of the United States.

Now I know what most of you are thinking….  Hooper has gone insane and even the best psychotropic meds and therapy won’t save him now!  Perhaps, but please hear me out:

We, as a society, more and more, are giving our trust and values over to the coolest kids in the class.  Qualifications like education and experience are quickly becoming irrelevant.  Today, we still hold some semblance of what is right and what is best for our nation.  But that is quickly losing its importance.

Sarah Palin is just the latest in a long line of hints that soon, very soon, we will all be living under the rule of reality stars.  It may seem absurd today but we are all walking down that path.  Let’s examine Palin:

Here is a woman who was a heartbeat away from being the Commander-In-Chief.  It’s my opinion that her selection as the GOP Vice Presidential candidate was what sank John McCain.  I’m not saying he would have won, but she did nearly everything wrong during the 2008 campaign and in the end McCain paid the price for such a random choice.

Then after the landslide defeat McCain and Palin endured she reinvented herself.  She was suddenly the reason for hope in the GOP.  In spite of the fact she was, by all accounts, the reason McCain lost, she was now the best, greatest hope for Republicans.  What changed?  Well, she quit as Governor, just two years into her term.  I can imagine that helped.  But today, she is spoken of as a legitimate contender for the GOP nominee for President of the United States.  How did that happen?

It happened because the GOP is so much better at selling a message, no matter how stupid it may be, than the Democrats.

Democrats have had public opinion on their side for years.  They just don’t know what to do with that support.  The GOP has been far better at recognizing what strikes at the heart of the average voter and have manipulated it to their advantage for decades.  Here are two truths:

  1.  Midterm elections are typically slanted toward the GOP.  The minority and netroots voters who come out for a presidential election tend to stay home for midterm elections.
  2. Without those two groups, the GOP will make huge gains because the lies they tell are looked upon as truth without a voice of reason to oppose their crazy rationales.

But back to my original point….  Palin and her ilk is a sign of end times we should all be taking seriously.  Progressives laugh at Palin and think she is nothing more than a sideshow.  Perhaps.  But I am beginning to believe that the cult of personality is going to play a much larger role in future elections than any of us would like to think.  Riddle me this:

How can a former GOP Vice Presidential candidate who was a complete and utter disaster by any standard now be considered a front runner for the GOP nomination for POTUS?  This is a person who QUIT her job as governor when it became obvious to her that she could make far more money as a private citizen than she could as Governor of Alaska.  I’ll tell you how, because in 2016, Paris Hilton will be of age and with the dwindling base of voters who actually think about who they are voting for, it isn’t a far stretch to believe that the hottest candidate will win.  Palin is living on the vote of people who aren’t looking for the smartest or best qualified.  She’s living on the backs of people who hate government and will accept anything that isn’t a part of the establishment, no matter how unqualified they may be.  “Anything but what we have!”

Perhaps I am wrong with my Hilton example.  But I doubt it.  We are just a few years away from being a country run by a reality TV star.  You can take your choice of which one.

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One Comment

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  1. julie / Jan 6 2011 1:02 pm

    Hopped over from HP. Look forward to reading more.

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