We live in a celebrity besotted age in which good looks and relentless PR have enabled an astonishing number of people to become famous mainly for being famous. Paris Hilton. The endless number of Kardashians and so on.
In the political world, television, blogs, and so on are creating similar phenomena. Consider Sarah Paiin. Even her most ardent admirers ought to admit that she is a person of modest accomplishments. A half-term governor of Alaska. Plucked from obscurity by the McCain campaign for reasons that remain obscure. An educational career not promising of great intellect. Yet, by dint of good looks, relentless PR, and the good luck to have incited some haters who do just as much as her own PR people to keep her in the public eye (and, yes, I mean you Andrew, among others), she has become one half of what The Times calls an "unlikely duo [who] are the most visible Republicans in the country and may become rivals to Barack Obama in the next presidential election."
The other half is newly elected Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown. Admittedly, Brown pulled something off for which he has deservedly gotten a lot of attention; namely, taking the "Kennedy seat" for the GOP. But he's at the start of his national career. He has zero legislative accomplishments. He hasn't really defined himself. He hasn't earned the right to be a viable Presidential candidate. Yet, there he is.
So here we have two politicians who are mainly famous for being famous.
In Hollywood, it seems that most of the folks who are famous for being famous are women. So I had trouble coming up with an analogy for Brown.
I think it says something bad about our culture that people like the Hiltons and Kardashians can vault into celebrity status without having accomplished anything.
But I think it says something even worse about our culture that we are starting to pick our leaders this way. We face serious problems and a growing list of serious threats. We need leaders who are serious people. Not leaders who are famous for being famous.