For all his popularity with tea party conservatives and libertarians, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky will never be able to establish enough trust with American voters to win the presidency, should he run, because of his tousled hair, psychologists and campaign strategists say.
“Rand Paul’s tousled hair is not presidential, it’s not masculine,” says Ronald Friedman, a psychologist at Columbia University who has looked extensively at what people’s hair styles say about them. “Even worse, Paul uses a styling gel to get his tousled look, so he faces a double hit with voters. Not only do voters see tousled hair as a lack of strength, but his use of gel makes him seem vain. So, it’s not a good combination.”
Both men and women are mistrustful of men who make their interest in their hair obvious, says Harvard psychologist Mark Weiland. “Even today it’s not socially acceptable for men to demonstrate vanity in that way,” he says. “Men are supposed to be unconcerned about their physical appearance, particularly with respect to their hair. A real man doesn’t get his hair styled; he gets it cut, preferably at a barber shop, not a hair salon. Even with the rise of men’s grooming products, skin creams, and cosmetics, the great middle of America still believes personal styling is a woman’s thing.”
“For men, hair gel is associated with two things,” says Brandon Mills, a professor of psychology at Purdue University, “vanity and mistrustfulness. In the movies, the hero rarely has gel in his hair. Have you noticed that? The villain often does. A real male hero has too many important matters to deal with to concern himself with his hair. Look at James Bond. Women go wild over him. He looks great, even after being chased and shot at, and his hair is never gelled, and it’s certainly not tousled. Good-looking, manly men just don’t concern themselves with their hair.”
Research has been done that shows both men and women tend not to trust a man who has gel in his hair. In one experiment, University of Pennsylvania researchers recruited 40 college students to participate in what they said was a study of teaching effectiveness, but in reality was to look at a man’s use of hair gel on social attitudes. In the experiment, a man was given material to “teach” to the participants in three separate sessions. The man went through the “class” in the exact same way and said the exact same thing each time. The only difference was in his hair. For one class, he had no hair gel, for another, he had some hair gel, and for the third, he had gobs of it. The results were surprising in how stark the participants’ responses were: the version of the man with no hair gel was overwhelmingly perceived as the more effective teacher, and the version of him with the most hair gel was perceived as the least effective.
“Culturally, we still associate men with slick-backed hair as devious,” says Friedman of Columbia University. “No doubt Rand Paul’s hair won’t hurt him with the so-called metrosexual vote—that’s the vote of young, urban men who downplay their masculinity—but for many other demographics, including many women demographics, his hair is a deal breaker.”
Campaign strategists say it’s a surprising fact about politics that people to a great degree vote for candidates on gut feelings that often have as much to do with the candidates’ looks as their positions. “It’s not that looks overwhelm positions, but it reinforces either positive or negative feelings we have about a person” says Ray Culverstone, a political strategist who has worked on dozens of local, state, and federal races, most recently the losing 2012 presidential bid of former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. “You start with the candidate’s positions: do we fundamentally agree with one another? If the answer is yes, how strongly you support the candidate is tied in part to whether the candidate looks the part. When you have candidates with more or less the same views, personal style becomes very important.”
Culverstone says he’s convinced Romney lost to Barack Obama because of his use of hair gel. “I actually recommended to Mitt that he stop putting gel in his hair, but he is set in his ways and wouldn’t consider it. But I think one of the reasons many people never really warmed to him, even many Republicans, was because his use of hair gel made him seem slightly less trustworthy than Obama, who, of course, doesn’t wear his hair long enough to make the use of gel an issue. Ronald Reagan is an exception to this, of course, but he was older, from a generation that grew up on hair grease, plus he was an actor, so people already understood that he was just playing a role to some extent.”
So, will Paul’s hair doom his presidential aspirations? The answer appears to be yes, unless he decides soon to nix the gel and start running a comb through his hair to get rid of that tousled look. “Right now he looks a little fruity, to be perfectly honest with you,” says Friedman. “I think the United States is ready for a gay president, but it’s not ready for a fruity president.”
This is a work of satire. It is a fictional news article not meant to be taken seriously. Images (some modified): gs (Creative Commons and public domain). Not necessarily an endorsed use of images.
Russian hacking of Democratic and Republican campaign emails have led to upheaval this election year, analysts say, not the least of which is the presidential victory of Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton. But in the latest bizarre twist, the hacked email of Republican elector Christopher Suprun of Texas indicates this “faithless” elector is a big fan of Neil Peart of the aging Canadian prog-rock group Rush. In an email made public by WikiLeaks, Suprun, who made news weeks ago by saying he could not in good conscious cast his vote as an elector for Donald Trump, was quoting Neil Peart’s lyrics from the Rush song “Faithless” as he mulled what to do. More.
Ayn Rand, Back from the Dead, Calls Americans Ninnies for Threatening Election Violence Rather Than Going Away to Build Utopia in the Rockies
Ayn Rand, the objectivist guru who helped launch the Libertarian movement and serves as inspiration for those in the tea party and others who believe Americans should be self reliant rather than live under the yoke of a paternalistic government, came back from the dead today to tell Americans supporting Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump that they’re “ninnies” for questioning the legitimacy of the election. “If you read Atlas Shrugged all the way through, you know objectivism isn’t about violence and questioning the vote; it’s about withdrawing from the hopeless liberal society and building a utopia in Colorado,” said Rand, who spoke to reporters and a small crowd of people outside Trump Tower in New York City. More.
The Republican party establishment, desperate to prevent Donald Trump from walking away with the presidential nomination, has repeatedly asked Ohio Gov. John Kasich to leave the race. But Kasich, despite his mostly lackluster performance, says he has a stash of secret support from a large and important constituency and he doesn’t want to see that bloc of voters left without a champion. “I owe it to Rush fans all over the United States to stay in the race and make sure their values are represented on the campaign trail and reflected in the party platform when the Republicans meet in July for the convention—which, by the way, is in my home state,” says Kasich. More.
Just when they thought it was safe to go to presidential campaign events without having to listen to the Canadian band Rush, voters have learned that Rand Paul, the libertarian candidate who recently dropped out of the race, isn’t the only fan of the band. Ohio Gov. John Kasich is also a fan, which means the piercing screech of Geddy Lee and the tin-can thumping of Neil Peart once again threaten to send property values down around 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. in Washington. “Please, tell me this isn’t true,” says Jim Robinson, 40, an attorney in Carson City, Nev., who was interested in voting for Rand Paul but decided he could never vote for anyone who quoted Rush lyrics at campaign events. More.
Poll numbers have been slipping for U.S. Republican presidential aspirant Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.) since he announced he candidacy in April and one of his top advisors is pointing the finger at Rush, the Canadian progressive rock trio whose libertarian-themed lyrics have made them a long-time favorite of Paul’s. “As an individual, Rand Paul can listen to any music he wants,” says Chip Englander, the candidate’s campaign manager and one of his top strategists. “It’s not for me to weigh in on someone’s taste in music, no matter how horrible. But as a candidate trying to build a base of support, Rand Paul is doing himself no favors playing music that causes his base of support to run away, screaming ‘Make it stop!’ We’re telling him he can’t go on listening to this music.” More.
For some reason, Republican presidential nominaton contestant Carly Fiorina thinks everyone in the United States wants to see her debate Hillary Clinton when the presidential race moves into the general election. Apparently, Fiorina thinks because she’s a woman and Clinton is a woman, people want to see the debate. But, actually, no one wants to see them debate and in fact most people don’t even care that Fiorina is runninge”As far as I can tell, the only person who wants to see Hillary and Fiorina debate is Fiorina,” says John Stewart, a Republican political consultant who is not aligned with any candidate. More.
The iconic comb-over of real estate billionaire and 2016 presidential aspirant Donald Trump is under investigation by U.S. immigration authorities on suspicion of being in the United States illegally. “We can only confirm that the comb-over of Donald Trump is a thing of interest to the United States concerning its immigration status and beyond that we have no comment,” John Goodman, director of fraud detection and national security for the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), says in statement released by the agency today. April Sayers, a spokesperson for Trump, calls the allegation ridiculous. “Mr. Trump eagerly awaits the agency’s report and certainly expects his hair to be exonerated,” she says. More.
The race for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination is up for grabs, with several serious candidates already declared or about to declare their candidacies. But is it really as wide open as many believe? In fact, behind closed doors, analysts say Florida Senator Marco Rubio has already locked up the nomination—for four unbeatable reasons. More.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), the Canadian born firebrand of conservative politics, is a favorite of many Republicans, thanks to his strong social and fiscal conservatism, but, as a very scary man, he will never be elected president of the United States. “I like Sen. Cruz in the same way that I like movies about self-hating megalomaniacs, but I could never vote for him as president,” says Dave Laver, a Republican in Ohio, a key swing state. Cruz was very much a liberal in his youth, say people who knew him, and he was scary back then, too, but he applied his scariness in a liberal rather than conservative direction. More.
Despite being the governor of Louisiana, the vice chair of the Republican Governors Association, and a politician harboring national ambitions, Bobby Jindal will never be president of the United States. “Gov. Jindel has been running for president since 1971, but if he carries even three states in the 2016 primaries, it’ll be a miracle,” says Norman Mills, a Republican political consultant who most recently worked on former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s unsuccessful 2012 presidential bid. “No one knows anything about Bobby Jidnel except that he’s Indian, is governor of some state or other, and that he pretends to be conservative.” “Gov. Jendal? Jindle? Jundel?” That’s a typical reaction of a potential voter here in Des Moines, Iowa, where any potential 2016 presidential candidate has to pass muster to become a serious presidential contender. More.
Texas Governor Rick Perry has endured a considerable amount of ribbing in the media for trying to give himself an intellectual look with his new glasses. But pundits and policy analysts say the glasses are more than just a cosmetic change; they say Perry’s IQ has actually increased, making him a formidable candidate for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016 if he decides to run. “I asked Rick Perry what three federal agencies he wants to eliminate should he be elected president and he rattled them off like nothing,” says Charles Boyer, an analyst with the Hudson Institute in Washington. “Commerce, Education, and Energy. Boom. He nailed them.” Perry was considered the frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination in the 2012 race but a series of nationally televised gaffes, including his flubbed answer on the federal agencies he wanted to eliminate, quickly deflated his standing and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney went on to win the nomination. More.
The Republican party has set up a clash of biblical proportions by nominating God to be its presidential candidate in the 2016 U.S. elections. The nomination, which comes unusually early in the election cycle, puts religion at the front of debate by opening up a host of Constitutional questions should God become president. “Does God’s law supersede Constitutional law? Does His commandments automatically trump Supreme Court rulings? Would the bible replace the Constitution? There are just a lot of unanswered questions this unprecedented moves raises, so we’re really going into unchartered territory,” says Gary Turner, a Constitutional scholar at the University of Chicago. More.
An explosive book by former Ayn Rand intimate Barbara Branden says the founder of the ultra-free market philosophy of objectivism was actually a heavy user of federal assistance and regularly sought meetings with federal officials to squelch competition to her free-market manifestos Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead. “No one was more enthralled with the brilliance and charisma of Ayn Rand than I and my husband, Nathaniel Branden, were, but in the end, the great seer of free-market economics was no different than anyone else, taking government handouts whenever she could and using the coercive power of the federal government to make life miserable for true free-marketers whose work posed a threat to her bestselling books,” writes Branden in her book, Ayn Rand: Welfare Queen, just released from Pythagoras Publications. More.
WASHINGTON, D.C.–A gun rights activist who thinks anyone who favors gun control of any type is a “socialist elitist who hates America” accidentally shot off his nose yesterday while at a rally here celebrating the second part of the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution. “Nobe ub dis chages my biew dat weal Americans strap guns around der legs,” says John (“J.D.”) Ray, the activist, from his room at George Washington University Hospital in Washington. Doctors treating the activist say they are attempting to reconstruct his nose using tissue from other parts of his body because the accidental point-blank shot left nothing of Ray’s original nose to work with. More.
Ralph Hudson says he knows he’s not doing the country any favors by exploiting wedge issues between people but the money he earns in exchange for making the country a more violent and less tolerant place is too good to refuse. “In a perfect world would I want to make our country a crappy place to live? Probably not,” says the radio veteran, whose conservative talk show is syndicated nationwide and attracts a daily audience of some 15 million listeners. “But my first responsibility is to myself, because even though I’m probably going to die in another 2o years or so, and won’t be around to enjoy it, I want to amass as much wealth as I can, and doing what I’m doing enables me to do that.” More.
Don’t expect quick processing of your Social Security check today. Agencies throughout the federal government have closed in response to heavy cloud cover over the city, preventing the sun from shining and threatening rain. “All federal empoyees, with the exception of essential employees and national security personnel, are instructed to stay home during today’s extreme weather event.” Kevin Longley, director of personnel management for the Office of Management and Budget, said in a statement today. “We expect federal agencies to resume normal operations tomorrow, although if current conditions persist, we expect to issue a revised update calling for a second day of closure.” More.
Back in the good ol’ days you could get away with things like makin’ up stories from a war zone,” Brian Williams says. The well-known NBC Nightly News anchor is on leave from his job following revelations he misled the public about his experience in Iraq while reporting on the U.S.-led invasion there 12 years ago. “It’s social media that’s ruining everything. Facebook, Twitter—how’s a guy supposed to buff his image when he can’t even tell a little tale without the whole frickin’ world knowin’ about it?” We caught up with Williams at a bar in New York City to find out how he’s doing since stepping down from his duties at NBC. We were joined by other prominent figures who’ve been ground up in the social media maw. More.
WASHINGTON—Disrespect shown to America’s favorite dessert from the heartland, apple pie, by liberal foodies is the next step in the Left’s war on everything America stands for, a coalition of conservative organizations said at a press conference here yesterday. “We know apple pie isn’t fashionable in some quarters of America, and we know in some quarters of America there are fancier or trendier desserts for people of so-called sophisticated palates, but we humbly say that an attack on apple pie is an attack on the values that have made America the greatest nation on earth,” the coalition says in a statement. More.
Alarmed at a rash of high-profile data breaches at big U.S. retailers like Home Depot, a task force of scientists and engineers looking at computer safety and privacy have called on lawmakers to add 16 letters to the English alphabet. They’ve also called for the addition of three numbers to the number scale, but that recommendation was not included in the final report as task force members look at how that could be done, since the number scale is universally understood to be based on the 10-digit system and any change would be difficult to administer. More.
OTTOWA—Tired of living in the shadow of its much larger southern neighbor, Canada yesterday officially changed its name to Not USA and unveiled a new flag that government officials say is designed to tell the world that Canada is its own country and not simply a northern outpost of the United States. “Not USA has a long and proud history,” says Stephen Harper, prime minister of Not USA, formerly known as Canada. “With our new name and flag, we’re celebrating our unique place in the community of nations. People forget that Not USA defeated the United States in several key battles in the War of 1812 and beat the U.S. in the 2010 winter olympics hockey championship. What’s more, Not USA is the largest country on earth by land mass, has more ice than any other country, and is the world’s largest producer of maple syrup and moose souvenirs.” More.
Elegant British super spy and womanizer James Bond is ditching his iconic Saville Row suits and other formal wear to sport a more casual look, an MI6 spokesperson says. “Agent 007 isn’t immune to the times,” the spokesperson says. “He understands business is conducted in an increasingly casual atmosphere and that spy craft is similarly changing. I’m not saying Bond will be stepping out of his Aston Martin in anything less than a nice shirt and maybe some khakis, but when he’s just puttering around London, Paris, or New York, you might just see him in a T-shirt and jeans. I’m not saying it will happen, but you might see that. He’s a secret agent, after all.” More.
SmartCarry™ Luggage Carts are the go-to brand of carts for most homeless people, a survey released today by Brand Trust, a business-to-business trade magazine. The magazine asked 250 homeless people in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Toronto about their brand preferences when it came to luggage, grocery, or other types of carts for carrying their possessions and just under 200 said SmartCarry™ is their cart of choice. “They last a real long time,” says Arnold Sween, a homeless person in New York City. “I’ve had mine for 10 years and it still rolls good. Holds a lot, too.” More.
BEIJING—China this week released its plan to dominate the world by 2020 and also host a summit on the overfishing of red herring in the South Sea. “This is China’s century and we are determined to assert our interests globally in accordance with our stature as the one true superpower,” Chinese President Xi Jinping said in a news conference here yesterday. China is the world’s largest country by population, with 1.36 million people, not counting ethnic Uighurs, and the world’s second largest economy, with a gross domestic product of $16.1 trillion. That is about $1 trillion less than the United States, although that gap is expected to close within the next 18 months because of America’s declining productivity and “black president,” the plan says. More.