Saturday, March 28, 2015

Why so few Democrats are planning to run for President

Answer: Reason.

If you have critical thinking skills, you understand that facts are non-negotiable, Eventually, a politician's message will be fact-checked. Truthful communication is founded on three principles analogous to three-legged stool,

See: Aristotles's Appeals
  • Logos: Logic / Reason / Proof
  • Ethos: Credibility / Trust
  • Pathos: Emotion / Values

If any one leg of the "stool" is missing the whole message fails and the messenger's credibility is bruised for a very long time.

People who lack one or more of the three legs of the stool try to compensate by making the remaining leg or legs larger, It may stand for a short time but it's unstable and will eventually fall anyway.

The order in which the missing legs differs depending on the political candidate. Ross Perot, Al Gore and John Kerry for example were missing Pathos from their messages. While their reasoning was sound in Logos and Ethos, they didn't connect well with the audience.

Unfortunately the voters in the U.S. have grown accustomed to stools made almost entirely of Pathos. One voter said of George W. Bush, "He's someone I could sit down and have a beer with." This didn't bode well at all and resulted in two simultaneous wars and an economic collapse.

Messages must be balanced between all three legs, Logos, Ethos and Pathos, but the public is more tuned to Pathos because it's easy, but the consequences of relying mostly on Pathos for choosing leadership has had more negative than positive outcomes for public policy over the last thirty years.

The generation that grew up with the Internet is now beginning to dominate the field of voter participants. Fact-checking is faster than ever. Because of this, Logos, Pathos and Ethos in messages to the public must be equally balanced. When a political candidate comes along who clearly defines all three, there is simply no need to add competitors. Logos and Ethos are clearly dominated by Democrats, and Hillary Clinton, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders currently are well versed in Pathos.

There appears to be a consensus among potential Democratic candidates that competing in the realm of facts is redundant. They just need to tweak the Pathos leg of the stool a little bit.