Why Women -- and Voters -- Prefer Jerks to Fops
by Rachel Marsden
An intriguing social phenomenon prompted a horrific killing spree in
I can attest that women will instinctively choose a loudmouth jerk over a fop -- at least until a non-jerk with discernible alpha male characteristics materializes. Why? Because jerks have many of the characteristics that approximate leadership qualities. In college especially, it's difficult to make a distinction between a jerk and a leader, if only for lack of professional and life experience.
European voters just exhibited a similar preference.
On the same weekend as the
The French craved the alpha-male leadership of former President
Hollande's military intervention in
We're living in a period that arguably represents the pinnacle of flash dominating substance. Saying the right things can get a politician elected to office -- or even awarded a pre-emptive Nobel Peace Prize before he can get around to reigniting the Cold War and racking up snafus in international diplomacy. A great many modern-day celebrities achieve fame by being present on television in some capacity while being shoved down the throat of the collective public through publicity efforts, rather than by using actual talent to gain access to a public platform.
But what if a politician could leverage both substance and style effectively?
If there's any politician on the international stage who has mastered the ability to approximate leadership via superficial trappings until the context arises to transition into a substantial leadership posture, it's Russian President
In the offseason, when there isn't much going on politically, he doesn't exhaust the public with needless
When conflict materialized in
Regardless of what one might think of Putin's politics, he has succeeded in exploiting human psychological tendencies -- whether domestic or international -- by transitioning seamlessly between style and substance in near-perfect accordance with context.
Until other leaders understand this inherent psychology, we in the West will continue to get a revolving door of underwhelming fops and loudmouth jerks, punctuated by the occasional political unicorn: an authentic leader who can act and speak the part.
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Article: Copyright © 2014, Tribune Content Agency
"Why Women -- and Voters -- Prefer Jerks to Fops"