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For as continued as I accept been afterward politics, the “likeability” of political candidates, abnormally presidential hopefuls, has been a accountable of interest. It stands to acumen that candidates in a capitalism will generally be advised on their personality, absolute or perceived. At the aforementioned time, for every analyst or accessory pointing to likeability as an advantage, others will assert it care to be irrelevant. A quick chase through the annal turns up innumerable examples. At the accident of overkill, actuality are a dozen:
May 1988: “President Ronald Reagan is a absorbing man but an bootless baton who is about butterfingers of absorption on issues, says Chrysler Corporation ambassador Lee Iacocca. . . .” (Business Times)
October 1988: “[Michael] Dukakis, who has been adamant by his angel as a technocrat and the ‘ice man’ . . . was asked if it was all-important to be absorbing in adjustment to be an able president. The Democratic appointee responded that he considers himself ‘a analytic absorbing guy,’ but said he additionally is ‘a austere guy.’” (UPI)
March 1992 : “The arch candidates in the Democratic chase for president, Paul Tsongas and Bill Clinton, not abandoned disagree about some issues but accept personalities that are like night and day. . . . Tsongas is the quiet kid you met in the library, alive on calculus and cutting a abridged protector. . . . Clinton was the guy who took you out for the best adventurous black of your life, the one you’ll bethink aback you’re 80. . . . Considering how continued we are ashore with our presidents, a candidate’s likeability should be taken into account.” (Ellen Debenport, St. Petersburg Times)
March 1996: “Senator Dole is able-bodied able as a ambassador and ambassador and has a accessible almanac to be appreciative of, absolutely far bigger than Mr. Clinton or Mr. Perot, let abandoned the added Republican hopefuls. But Americans appetite to like their President, not aloof adore him, and in the likeability contest, Senator Dole hasn’t a hope.” (Patrick Brogan,Glasgow Herald)
July 1996: “Although Clinton beats Dole calmly on who’s best likeable, understanding, and in blow with boilerplate Americans, Dole charcoal able-bodied avant-garde of the admiral aback voters are asked to brand the candidates on strength, effectiveness, and trustworthiness.” (Elizabeth Arnold, NPR)
March 2000: “Former Republican presidential applicant Steve Forbes . . . said [George W.] Bush would apparently appear as a ‘more likeable’ being than Vice Admiral Al Gore, the Democratic Party’s candidate.” (Agence France-Presse)
May 2000: “Though [pollster Robert] Teeter agreed that a able abridgement was a aloft agency in application a admiral or his party, he said the best ‘likeable’ applicant had won best postwar elections.” (Adam Clymer, New York Times)
October 2000: “Even Tipper Gore best up the theme, suggesting her bedmate is the abandoned applicant in the chase with the acquaintance and acumen to be president. She said that is added important than which applicant is added likeable: ‘It’s not “The Dating Game,” you know. You don’t accept to abatement in adulation with Al Gore. I did that.’” (CNN)
October 2004: “Voters acquisition Bush the added absorbing candidate, affective the admiral avant-garde of his battling 52 percent to 44 percent amid acceptable voters.” (Jim Bishop, New York Post)
June 2007: “Why do Democrats accumulate accident the ‘Who would you best like to accept a beer with’ question? It’s about who connects with you as a adolescent American. Why did a bourgeois Republican like George W. Bush appear out bigger than the Democratic applicant aback bodies were asked, ‘If your car bankrupt bottomward on the roadside, who would stop and advice you?’” (Chris Matthews, MSNBC)
March 2012: “Why Isn’t Romney ‘Likeable Enough’?” (J. Ann Selzer, Politico)
February 2015: “Ever aback I started accoutrement civic presidential campaigns for U.S. News in 1988, the added absorbing applicant has won. It was Barack Obama over Mitt Romney in 2012; Obama over John McCain in 2008; George W. Bush over John Kerry in 2004; Bush over Al Gore in 2000; Bill Clinton over Bob Dole in 1996; Clinton over George H.W. Bush in 1992, and George H.W. Bush over Michael Dukakis in 1988. Afore that, Ronald Reagan was added absorbing than Walter Mondale in 1984 and Jimmy Carter in 1980, and Reagan won both times.” (Kenneth Walsh,US Account & Apple Report)
As all these examples accomplish clear, not abandoned accept political commentators and practitioners commonly taken up the affair of likeability in White Abode campaigns, they accept about consistently done so in the ambience of discussing men. And no one has anytime appropriate or cool that to allocution about a candidate’s adeptness to affix with voters at a claimed akin is in any way to advance males or to authority them and their sex to an arbitrary standard. The abstraction that “likeability” is some arrangement of cipher chat for a animal bifold accepted is laughably absurd. Or it was, until bristles account ago. Almost as anon as Senator Elizabeth Warren aftermost anniversary appear that she was active for her party’s 2020 presidential nomination, a flurry of commentators rushed to acknowledge that any allocution of Warren’s likeability arrears was sexist.
“Is Likeability in Backroom Sexist? Yes. It’s Additionally Outdated,” declared the banderole on a New York Times assay by Lisa Lerer. In GQ, Luke Darby proclaimed that “it’s adamantine to avoid the sexist angle” in any altercation of whether Warren tends to be admired by accustomed voters. “When we allocution or address about the personalities of macho politicians,” he declared in a acute affirmation of affected news, “the chat absorbing never comes up.” Over on NBC’s website, Ashton Pittman huffed that it was “particularly pernicious” to appraise women’s likeability, and decried “the affectation of the likeability metric” aback activated to changeable candidates.
Especially camp was a cheep by the admiral of NARAL: “Since ‘unlikeable’ is absolutely acutely a analogue in backroom for ‘strong, bright, and amorous woman,’ let’s all be unlikeable, shall we?”
All this whining and appropriate argumentation may be ridiculous, but Warren was blessed to fan the flames. As anon as Politico appear an articleon whether the Massachusetts senator’s likeability arrears would doom her antagonism afore it got off the ground, the Warren advance appear a acerbic letter biting it as an archetype of the “beard-stroking assessment pieces” and the “she-can-never-win debris aerated out by the Republican advertising machine.” For acceptable measure, the advance additionally acclimated it as fundraising bait.
Pretty cynical. Again again, in backroom annihilation goes — and it’s consistently accessible for partisans to see what they appetite to see. So brace for added hair-twirling assessment pieces blame the absurd affirmation that the hurdle of “likeability” is article abandoned women accept to accord with.
Reporting in the Boston Globe about Warren’s allies hasty to amphitheater the wagons, my aide Stephanie Ebbert quoted “campaign specialists” who agreed that it’s so accursed sexist and beggarly to accede whether a changeable applicant has a adroitness for abutting with voters:
“It seems like it’s an inherent bias,” said Amanda Hunter, analysis and communications administrator for the Barbara Lee Family Foundation. “In an ideal world, women should be accustomed to run as candidates and be advised on the aforementioned claim and their acquaintance as men are. Seeing this blazon of chat absolutely a day afterwards a applicant announces was not hasty aback you attending at antecedent conversations, but afterwards such a absolute 2018, it’s disappointing.” . . .To advance players like [Democratic architect Mary Anne] Marsh, the focus on “likeability” feels depressingly familiar.“There’s a assertive affectionate of advance and criticism that is aloof for women in politics,” she said. “And that action should not be adored by voters or the media or anyone.” But as continued as the basal band for any applicant is to get elected, the adeptness to chronicle to voters will amount hugely. And as Kenneth Walsh acicular out in the February 2015 extract I quoted above, presidential hopefuls who aren’t balmy or absorbing tend not to get elected. That was accurate for Dole, Dukakis, Kerry, and Mondale. And it was accurate — alert — for the “likeable enough” Hillary Clinton. On the added hand, in 1968 the bleak and bitchy Richard Nixon defeated Hubert Humphrey, one of the sunniest “happy warriors” in American political history. There is no foolproof blueprint to active for president. Likeability is one additive in civic campaigns, but it isn’t the abandoned one, or the best important. So is Elizabeth Warren absorbing enough? The ancient poll soundings haven’t been encouraging, but who knows what voters will anticipate of her abutting ages or abutting year? Aback she aboriginal got into politics, she was admired as article of a accelerating bedrock star, and left-wing ideologues swooned over her agitator class-war rhetoric. If it wasn’t sexist again to trumpet her address to Massachusetts voters, it isn’t sexist now to assay her accessible abridgement of address to voters nationwide. Is it too abounding to ask that liberals not comedy the “sexism” agenda until there’s absolutely article sexist to article to? On Capitol Hill, assortment of acceptance
In the means that amount most, the anew installed 116th Congress is one of the best assorted institutions in America. I don’t beggarly assorted in the cursory faculty of chase and sex, although it is absolutely accurate that abounding associates of Congress are nonwhite (21 percent, according to Politico ) and changeable (23 percent). Rather, Congress is appreciably assorted in political angle — afterwards all, it is breach about bottomward the average amid Democrats (who accept a bashful majority in the House) and Republicans (who about ascendancy the Senate).Congress comprises lots of Republicans and Democrats? Well, duh — that’s an ascertainment aces of Captain Obvious. Anticipate about it, though: Where abroad in American activity do you acquisition such brainy dissimilarity? Absolutely not in academia, in the boilerplate media, or in the ball industry. If Congress does annihilation else, which is generally the case, it at atomic demonstrates that it is accessible for liberals and conservatives, Democrats and Republicans, to appear calm as colleagues and administer their diplomacy peacefully.There is addition way in which Congress reflects admirable assortment of belief: the arrangement of religions to which its associates belong.
Every two years the Pew Analysis Center tallies up the religious agreement of Congress. That agreement has been growing steadily beneath monolithic. Of the 535 associates in the new Abode and Senate, 293 are Protestant, 163 are Catholic, 34 are Jewish, 10 are Mormon, bristles are Orthodox Christian, three are Muslim, three are Hindu, and two are Unitarian. One affiliate (Senator Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona) is not affiliated with any religion; addition 18 associates beneath to acknowledge to Pew’s survey.In allotment terms, Congress’s religious agreement doesn’t bout that of the US public, which contains appreciably beneath Christians, somewhat beneath Jews, and abounding added detached “nones.” Nevertheless, it is the best religiously assorted Congress in American history — alike added so aback you apprehend that the better component, Protestants, is fabricated up of a dozen absolutely altered religious traditions, from Anglicans to Adventists and from Pentecostalists to Presbyterians.
Andrew Harrer/BloombergThe US Capitol in Washington, D.C.Advertisement
Again, this is article Americans booty for granted. For added than two centuries, Article VI, Clause 3 of the Constitution has ensured that “no religious analysis shall anytime be appropriate as a accomplishment to any appointment or accessible assurance beneath the United States.” What could be added normal? But in abounding of the world, annihilation could be added abnormal. Christians and Jews, Hindus and Muslims, atheists and Mormons, all confined as equals in the accomplished code anatomy of the land? This is one affair Americans administer to do right, and we should abeyance now and again to acknowledge it.
We are reminded consistently these canicule of the acute differences that abstracted us, and of how polarized and affiliated our backroom accept become. Associates of the 116th Congress will not abridgement for abounding affidavit to affray and altercation and admonishment anniversary other. At times, associates may insult or accurate abhorrence for the ethics some of their colleagues embrace. But one affair they about absolutely won’t do is action about their religious differences. In added times and added places, such differences would accept fueled blood-soaked abandon and certain enmity. Here, we booty them as normal. Our Constitution confined the enactment of any accurate adoration while advancement the chargeless exercise of them all. The aftereffect is America’s religious pluralism — amazingly diverse, blessedly peaceful.
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When we were kids, my brother and I for a while had a active altercation about which was added important, accent and the abstract or algebraic and science. It was, causeless to say, a impaired debate. Human blooming is abased on both right-brain and left-brain adeptness — abounding of our species’ greatest leaps avant-garde accept been accomplished with words and images, while others, aloof as amazing and magical, would not accept been accessible after numbers. Unlike my brother, who became a chemist and is now a biographer for a arresting accurate journal, I don’t commonly accept abounding break to authority alternating on mathematics. I can’t anamnesis anytime autograph a cavalcade on a math-related topic. And already my kids began belief trigonometry in aerial school, my adeptness to advice them with algebraic appointment went pffft. But alike if I’ve never had a arch for numbers added avant-garde than the calculations appropriate to antithesis a checkbook and do my taxes, every now and again I like to flavor at atomic a aroma of added avant-garde math. Some years aback I apprehend with amusement the admirable “mathematical novel” by Gaurav Suri and Hartosh Singh Bal, A Assertive Ambiguity . Admitting the adventure centered on a 1919 abuse balloon in New Jersey, best of the book absolutely complex discussions of authoritativeness in mathematics, with a abundant accord to say about Euclidean and non-Euclidean geometry, proofs of the Pythagorean theorem, and Georg Cantor’s set theory. I can’t say I grasped all the math, which played out in ample detail, but I begin the acquaintance of account the atypical both agreeable and uplifting. It afforded me a exciting aftertaste of adeptness I rarely encounter. By the time I accomplished the aftermost folio I acquainted both added abreast and added apprenticed than I had been aback I started. All of which is by way of administration with you a adorable article acquaint on Bloomberg aloof as 2018 was advancing to a close: “This Was a Abundant Year to Be a Algebraic Geek,” exulted Scott Duke Kominers, a 20-something assistant at the Harvard Business Academy and an accessory at the university’s Center for Analysis on Computation and Society. Here’s how it begins: For algebraic geeks like me, 2018 was a banderole year: Not abandoned was it a year in which the field’s top prize was awarded, it was the abandoned year in this aeon featuring canicule lining up with both the Golden ratio, an affected admeasurement begin throughout art and nature, and the algebraic constant e, which is at the amount of calculus. But the mathematician in me additionally can’t advice but agenda that the cardinal 2,018 has some apocalyptic properties: It’s deficient, acceptation that the sum of all its absolute divisors is beneath than itself. And it’s also odious, acceptation that it has an odd cardinal of ones in its bifold expansion, 11111100010. This year is appealing cryptic, as able-bodied — it appearance acutely in the first of the three Beale ciphers, an 1880s cryptographic addle that allegedly describes the area of a multimillion-dollar treasure. (Hint: analysis the cipher’s additional line.) Kominers continues in that vein, brainy and absorbing and fun-loving. If he’s as absorbing in the classroom as he is in his writing, his acceptance charge adulation him. I appetite you to apprehend the accomplished article (and again you too will apperceive why 2019 is an apocalyptic power).
Armpit to see
Amid the internet’s all-inclusive ocean of drivel, some websites are adorable islands of adeptness and discovery. Anniversary week, in “Site to See,” I alarm absorption to one of these online treasures.
My abode is abounding with books, and these canicule I’m added acceptable to absorb time in bookstores than in libraries. In my childhood, though, libraries were a admired home abroad from home.If you admire them too, you ability like this week’s Armpit to See: Library Planet [URL: Media which is declared by its architect as “a crowdsourced Lonely Planet for libraries of the world ” and a “traveling blog for the library tourist.” The armpit consists of descriptions of libraries about the apple — abandoned 30 so far, but with added to appear as users accelerate them in. To date, best of the featured libraries are in Europe. They accommodate the National Library of Latvia, which is housed in an architecturally admirable “castle of light,” the Aarhus University Library in Denmark, whose basement appearance a ping-pong table in a ample bottle cage, and The Word in South Tyneside, England, which is set in an abnormal annular architecture bogus from abstracts and in colors meant to arm-twist coal, salt, glass, and bean — the mainstays of the region’s automated heritage.
Anyone can accord to Library Planet; the armpit invites users to allotment pictures and descriptions of unusual, beautiful, or contrarily memorable libraries they accept encountered in their travels. One reader, Claire Sewell, contributed an access on the Morrin Center in Quebec City, Canada. Actuality is her account: Originally congenital as a aggressive billet in 1712, it became a bastille in 1813 and was refurbished to abode Morrin College in 1862. In 1868 it additionally became home to the Literary and Historical Society of Quebec, and the library was accustomed at this time.
My bedmate and I visited the Morrin Centre because we had apprehend about the admirable library online. I additionally apparent an ancestor, Jonathan Sewell, during our time in the city. Sewell was a advocate and adjudicator who helped authorize the Society, and he served as its admiral from 1830-31. As a librarian myself, it was a abundant adventure to ascertain this and to acquisition his account at the Morrin Centre. . . The library maintains a able-bodied angled accumulating that alike includes abounding earlier books still in circulation. For instance, I came beyond an aboriginal archetype of The Complete Book of Cats with photographs by Walter Chandoha from 1957. It still included the date due block in the aback with stamps throughout the years!
Library Planet has abundant potential. I attending avant-garde to seeing its agreeable aggrandize with descriptionssupplied by authors, artists, and advisers whose researches booty them to the world’s abundant and attractive libraries.
Recommend a website for this feature! Accelerate me the articulation and a abbreviate description Media and put “Site to See” in the accountable line.
My Sunday column dissected an affinity frequently fabricated by supporters of Donald Trump’s proposed bound wall: Aloof as clandestine citizens lock their homes adjoin intruders, the United States should “lock” its borders. It’s a abominably awry comparison. The best accessible abstract is that homes are clandestine property, over which owners accept absolute control. But the nation is no one’s clandestine chattel. Indeed, abounding of it is accessible property. No acreage buyer can put up a bank to block a artery or a park. Moreover, homeowners can exclude outsiders from theirhouse, but they accept no appropriate to exclude visitors from a neighbor’s home or business. But that’s aloof what a bound bank does — by barring amiable foreigners who would contrarily get jobs, acquirement goods, or accession families with US citizens, a “locked” bound aboveboard interferes in the lives of endless American men and women.
Last Wednesday, in my aboriginal cavalcade of the new year, I reminded readers of the blemish of experts. In bi-weekly columns, radio allocution shows, and TV account broadcasts, experts are commonly trotted out to anticipation approaching developments. Yet their prophecies are consistently wrong. Which is article account canonizing aback you accept to acute and adeptness bodies confidently cogent you what to apprehend in the days, weeks, and months to come.
The aftermost line
“He drew in a breath, chock-full in the bosom of a sigh, continued out, and died.” — Leo Tolstoy,The Death of Ivan Ilyich (1886)
Jeff Jacoby can be accomplished at Media Follow him on Twitter @jeff_jacoby.Loading comments…