This presidential election has reached the extreme end of “likability” over substance. This is the result of having the ability and expectation that the candidates will be in the public eye all day everyday providing content for news outlets and social media. Successful candidates will become performers more than policy makers going forward. Even success in the debates has become little more than the collective impression of a candidate’s self confidence and personal tics. While this has always been true to an extent, it seems to be reaching an absurd extreme.
The end result of this superficiality will be that the candidates who most resemble stereotypical leaders from entertainment will have an advantage in elections: brash and overly aggressive males and young and attractive females. The problem is that politics is a long game and while a 70 year old man can be brash and aggressive, youth and beauty are time-limited. Imagine how the public would respond to a 70 year old woman acting exactly the same as Donald Trump?