Politics: Issues or Lifestyle?

Bill Bishop was on the Daily Show discussing the fact that politics is no longer about issues, but about lifestyle. Basically, the point is that we focus more on which politicians live a lifestyle that we approve or can relate to rather than their stance on the issues. This, I think, is reflected in Senator Obama’s wide appeal.

Barack Obama Covers Vibe Magazine

Barack Obama Covers Vibe Magazine

Truthfully, I agree with Mos Def, Barack Obama appeals to Americans’ sense of vanity in a way that we aren’t ready to admit. The President is the face of the country and Americans want a handsome man for the job. While I think this is true, I won’t say that people don’t focus on the issues. Especially not now, with this “mental recession“. People want to be sure that we’re going to be okay.

If the American public didn’t focus on lifestyle, things like McCain’s age, his brush with skin cancer, and his wife’s struggle with pain killers wouldn’t be in the news. It is, I think, pertinent to focus on these kinds of things because it points to personal struggles and how people react to their struggles and allows us to gauge how they would react to our struggles. I’m not sure if this is fair to the candidates but I think that people deserve to know and understand “their” politicians.


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