Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Wise words

"My point is: when we talk about politics, the intuitions that we bring to the game from the world of small-scale interpersonal relations can easily betray us. The guy who 'seems authentic' and 'makes you want to trust him' is the guy to be nervous about – because he has a kind of charisma that is powerful. He is not earning your trust; almost by definition, he’s conning you. That doesn’t mean 'don’t vote for that guy' – precisely because that guy has that power, he’s likely to be more effective. It means don’t trust that this 'authenticity' means what it might mean in an interpersonal context of long and stable relationships. You don’t really know who any of these guys are. The one thing you can know for certain, though, is that they aren’t who they want you to believe they are. Because they want you to believe that they understand you, personally, and they want tens of millions of other people to believe the same thing about them. And that’s just not humanly possible."

-- Noah Millman at The American Scene.

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