“I am glad that I paid so little attention to good advice; had I abided by it I might have been saved from some of my most valuable mistakes.” ― Edna St. Vincent Millay
[one_half padding=”4px 10px 0 4px”]How bad is it that we are still a good 18 months or so away from the 2016 presidential election and already I’m tired of the whole thing? With so many candidates having already announced their campaigns, each additional name added to the roster feels more like adding to the list of extras at the end of a bad movie no one really wanted to watch in the first place. Sure, eventually we’ll have to vote for a couple of these clowns, but at this point there’s too much noise, too much grandstanding, and too much absurdity to take any of them seriously.
I wonder what would happen if we forced candidates to run anonymously through the primaries, unable to present a name, a photograph, or even appear on Sunday morning talk shows in person. How would it change the process, and the number willing to run, if they were initially assigned a number and were forced to run strictly on the merits of their platform, with no personality involved? Would we be more careful about who we choose as our president? Certainly, we would want to reveal the names of the candidates at the party primaries, but in the circus leading up to that point what benefits might there be in ignoring names altogether and having everyone run anonymously, with no indication of race, heritage, gender, sexuality, or religious beliefs? I cannot help but think the process would be much better served.
Personality and ego are a detriment when one is considering who should hold public office, but yet those are the two aspects voters get heaped upon them the most often. In a crowded field such as what we are already experiencing in this cycle, we are forced to endure a constant battle of who can say the most socially provocative thing in an effort to get even 15 seconds of time on a newscast, or perhaps a small storm of controversy on social media. When over half the field of contestants is more well known for their ridiculous statements and social media gaffes than their actual platforms, we have a serious problem.[/one_half]
[one_half_last padding=”4px 4px 0 10px”]Sadly, one of the most frequent areas of unacceptable stump speech involves slut shaming and victim blaming on the part of candidates. We saw it too often in the 2012 election, and already the habit is rearing its ugly head in this one. Candidates mistakenly believe that by pandering to the very lowest and most ignorant form of voter that they can appeal to an under-educated and socially inept base to push them forward in the election. What they fail to realize is that the rest of the civilized world would really like to put those two issues to rest. There is never such a thing as “asking for it,” especially in regard to rape, and what a woman does or does not wear is not indicative of her sexual proclivity.
Such inappropriate attitudes toward sex and violence are one of the reasons we have had to stop giving names, even pseudonyms, to models who appear nude. We have had too many instances where technology allowed a model to be stalked after her name came up in some random Google search. With the increase in facial recognition software, I worry that, without any change in public attitude, we may be forced to limit figure art to anonymous forms such as today’s picture. Yes, today’s picture is quite lovely, but I’m always saddened by the fact I’m forced to crop out the model’s beautiful and expressive face because she rightly fears both social and professional backlash.
Anonymity can work both for us and against us. When it prevents ego and personality from obscuring fact and reality, anonymity is a good thing. When it allows shaming and inappropriate blaming to continue, though, anonymity is something that should perhaps be stripped away. I would dearly love to never have to crop another photo or avoid giving credit to another model to prevent putting them in any form of danger.
Maybe I should just run for president. Anonymously, of course.[/one_half_last]