“The Personal Is Political” was a slogan from the 1960s. Women maintained that choices about their private lives were shot through with political consequences; African Americans presented the raw force of political power in every private act of segregation; and environmentalism became popular from awareness that private acts of consumption and waste have large public consequences.
Ever since the 1960s, there has been increased media attention on the private lives of public figures. Democrat Jimmy Carter was the first president to appeal based on his folksiness, and Republican Ronald Reagan was even more adept in the arts of the personable leader.
In this campaign, the “compassionate conservatism” of Republican George W. Bush is a combination of conservative policies and a personable promise that he is a nice person. By contrast, Democrat Al Gore has a lot of expertise and experience, but little personal flair.
Back to you, Dear Voters: the personal has become political. Now is it presidential?… Read whole essay here….