BALLARO: Cease policing political trend

Seeing as now we have gone 4 weeks with out an revolt try, I can lastly speak in regards to the actual points going through this nation. And by that, after all, I imply trend in politics.

It was simple to confuse the presidential inauguration of President Joseph R. Biden Jr. on Jan. 20 with a pop live performance. With Girl Gaga and Jennifer Lopez headlining, it was a efficiency to not miss. But, there was a efficiency that eclipsed the work of each pop divas: a efficiency of political theater. Politicians and public figures alike had been dressed to the nines for this inauguration.

Even Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), in his personal Sanders method, made trend headlines by not carrying one thing that’s price 5 figures. He wore the mittens of the folks!

Trend within the realm of politics is far much less superficial than it seems at first blush. Look no additional than the 1960 presidential debate between former Presidents John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon. This occasion was the first presidential debate ever to be broadcasted on tv.

Famously, Kennedy wore a darkish blue go well with, whereas Nixon wore a gray go well with. Nixon’s wardrobe grew to become his downfall on this debate. In an age of black-and-white tv, Nixon blended into the background, whereas Kennedy stood out strikingly in his darkish blue go well with. In post-debate polls, viewers who watched on tv mentioned Kennedy had gained, whereas listeners who tuned in on radio mentioned Nixon had gained.

How a lot of an influence this debate really had on the result of the 1960 election is suspect at finest. For my part, I feel the influence of the candidates’ trend selections on this debate may have been barely overblown. That mentioned, everyone knows who ended up successful that 1960 election, and it positive was not Nixon.

Rewinding again to the 2016 information cycle, I’m reminded of a sure “controversy” round a sure $12,495 Armani Jacket that was worn by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Political pundits and different speaking heads on TV wasted no time tearing into Clinton’s jacket. I’m in no way a Clinton stan, removed from it. Clinton is a personality in politics that’s dripping in deserved criticisms. But, complaining about designer jackets shouldn’t be considered one of them.

Your complete level of Clinton’s wardrobe overhaul for the 2016 presidential election marketing campaign was an try to look extra “relatable.” Because it appears, based mostly on public outcry, a pantsuit is just too a lot of a risk to this nation’s notion of masculinity.

When a girl invests in her look, she is “out of contact.” If a girl doesn’t put money into her look, she is a waste of area. Because the previous adage goes, “damned in the event you do, damned you do not.”

Some critics may say to me, “No, Anthony, Clinton was not getting criticized for being a girl. Clinton was criticized as a result of she was carrying an costly go well with to a speech about earnings inequality.” And to these, I inform them they’re incorrect.

Clinton was really giving a victory speech for her current success within the New York Democratic major. For those who learn full the transcript of the speech, solely briefly does she point out the subject of inequality.

Is it even price mentioning former President Donald J. Trump’s penchant for $7,000 Brioni fits? Reminded of Dolly Parton, I feel to myself, “How does a person spend that a lot cash to look that low-cost?”

Stepping into the weeds about variations in wardrobe criticism between female and male candidates feels fruitless. Is that this some lean-in feminism hogwash? What’s even the purpose? What a waste of digital ink. That is the kind of journalism you bought within the 2016 period of the 24-hour information cycle.

And, but, one may suppose now we have come farther alongside from this in 2021, however the identical drained criticisms lobbed at feminine politicians are nonetheless right here. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) will get a $300 haircut within the Washington, D.C., controversy.

Trump writes off greater than $70,000 for hair and make-up as enterprise bills, crickets. And thoughts you, $300 is a darn whole lot for a lady’s haircut in D.C. What was even the purpose right here? That Ocasio-Cortez values staff’ expert labor? I digress.

A part of representing the folks simply comes right down to trying the half. Traditionally, politicians have had restricted choices on the subject of what appears “applicable.” However the boundaries for political appropriateness are getting pushed on a regular basis.

A decade or two in the past, a brown-skin hijabi girl who additionally sports activities a nostril piercing may not have ever stood an opportunity in working for workplace. However the success of Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) in Minnesota’s fifth congressional district says in any other case.

If we nonetheless discuss trend in a 1960 presidential debate, who is aware of how representatives will be dressing in 2060. In any case, for 2021, I simply hope that requirements of congressional trend embody carrying a face masks.

Anthony Ballaro is a College of Arts and Sciences senior majoring in classics and public well being. His column, “Hindsight is 20/21,” runs on alternate Thursdays.


*Columns, cartoons and letters don’t essentially replicate the views of the Targum Publishing Firm or its workers.

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