Consider this the first installment of a series on bow ties. Trust me, I’ll make it worth your time.
There are many things bow ties can do that politicians can’t. Bow ties draw attention to themselves without starting wars, raising taxes, or tweeting pictures of their goods. Bow ties effortlessly bring together an outfit without using a draft, threatening a veto, or using a big stick. They are remembered not by a body count, a deficit, or a scandal, but by their consistent pattern or true color. There are quite a few things that America’s politicians can learn from a bow tie.
Bow ties embody the favorable characteristics of any great politician –confidence, charisma, and intelligence. However, few politicians choose to embrace the power of this sartorial novelty.
Probably due to his never-ending pursuit to appeal to the youth demographic, Obama has strategically used the recent rise in popularity of the bow tie to his advantage. He has also garnered attention by drawing red lines in the middle-east. I suggest he stick to bow ties.
JFK’s buck-tooth grin would fall flat among the polished statesmen of today. The endless cycle of rehearsing, performing, reviewing, and apologizing generates an atmosphere of panic for modern politicians. They must be everything to everyone. It also generates politicians incapable of saying the wrong thing –or anything at all for that matter. Being afraid to fail used to weed out those unfit for politics. Now it is a prerequisite.
These days, the true character of a politician often surfaces in third party YouTube videos instead of town hall meetings. Their personal brand replaces their personality, and the reasons for voting become personal instead of political. The only glimpse into their human side is purveyed through their style.
Although many politicians on the national stage may already employ stylists to make them more attractive or agreeable, the vast majority still rely on old fashioned style rules to guide them in their everyday outfits. And it shows.
The beauty of a bow tie is that it allows the person wearing it to convey more personality than if they wore a necktie. A candidate can say more than their competitor and speak less. You may disagree, but when is the last time you saw someone wearing a bow tie and thought nothing of it? In politics, the simple action of a voter noticing that a candidate is wearing a bow tie instead of a necktie can mean the difference between winning and losing a vote.
The concept isn’t new.
The Presidents pictured all wore bow ties. And though you may not be a fan of them all, they were all at some time the most powerful men in the country. That should be reason enough to wear a bow tie.
Wearing a bow tie may be a negligible detail. It may also be the difference between being remembered and fading into the crowd. Why take the risk?
What I am reading today: The State and Social Cooperation