This post examines to characteristics of the two candidates, which are strong negative aspects of their personality. This isn’t meant to be a thing to point out deadly flaws of either candidate. But is a (for me) relatively even handed discussion of two aspects, possibly even related, in which both candidates both have in these two characteristics respectively demonstrated symmetric negative character flaws.

Mr Obama, we have come to understand, at least in his public persona has little or no sense of humor, for example there are clips of their recent public joint comedy appearance. Mr McCain by contrast, came through with comedic timing and sense, does not share this flaw in fact quite the reverse, that he can be quite funny. Inability to tell a joke, for the Meyer-Briggs crowed is probably tell-tale for a distinctive personality type. Now, it may also be that in private, Mr Obama has quite the sense of humor, but that in public he can’t pull it off, but remember, Mr Obama is by all accounts quite the demagogue … which might lead one to discount the notion that it is a public/private matter.

On the flip side, much has been said about Mr McCain’s temper. I have written not just a few times about the virtue of apathy, from the Greek apatheia, or dispassion. Apathy as a virtue is that one is not driven by passions. Anger and rage are strong passions and publicly (or privately) giving way to this, especially when not controlled, is certainly problematic. Mr McCain reportedly has, in private, quite the temper problem. By all accounts, Mr Obama, while not as famously dispassionate as those two NFL apatheia exemplars, Coach Lovie Smith and Tony Dungy, is himself highly controlled.

So, in the virtue vice column, Mr McCain has an excellent sense of humor, Mr Obama does not. Mr McCain has anger/temper issues, Mr Obama is dispassionate. A plus for each and a negative for each.

As an aside: one wonders if the virtues noted above are not unconnected to the vices mentioned. That is, is Mr Obama’s “control” and dispassion linked to his lack of a sense of humor and on the flip side is the emotional lack of same control on the side of Mr McCain also linked to his also having a sense of humor?

Filed under: DemocratsMark O.PoliticsRepublicans

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