By Taryn Smith
Looking back at the 2012 presidential election I feel like Romney and Obama aren’t the only ones who can learn a few lessons from the election. At least for me the political gaffs and not so politically correct statements are pretty much the only things that attract me to Anderson Cooper’s pretty face. The elections also give me an extra reason to despise Fox News and Rush Limbaugh, he’s mean and wears an excessive amount of polo shirts, as well as glasses that aren’t at all face flattering. However, most of all, elections teach me valuable life lessons. Lessons that are easily applicable to a myriad of real world situations. Here I’m presenting the top three lessons that can be learned from the 2012 election.
1. Numbers will never be our friends. In this year’s election I noticed a whole lot of numbers being thrown around. Numbers give people something more specific to focus on, rather than looking at the bigger picture. For example Romney’s whole 47% comment about how he thinks that there are too many people relying on the government for financial help sparked a media firestorm. If Romney had not cited a specific number he might have been able to stop his campaign from hurling itself over a cliff. Instead, I believe that Romney should have made more of a general statement. For example a “significant portion” or a “substantial amount of Americans”, would have been a better route to travel on. Fortunately, a lesson that we can learn from Romney’s gaff is that rounding up or down can be a better way to frame an experience. For example, if I got a 51% on my math test I can still go home and say that, “I got most of the questions right on the test.” Instead of having to fess up to not getting all of your work done you could simply say, “I got most of my report done.” Even though you had only done about 6 out of 10 pages of it. Vague statements leave room for imagination and high expectations.
2. Don’t lie about the little details of a big accomplishment. When Paul Ryan lied about his marathon time, he just made himself look like a desperate loser. When you’re running for Vice President, if people aren’t impressed with your views and opinions, bragging or lying about irrelevant accomplishments doesn’t make you look any better. Sure, running a marathon is great, but if I’m trying to decide on whether to vote for a candidate or not, I don’t care about how fast you can run or how many hours a day you spend doing P90X. Lesson to be learned, lying about personal accomplishments does not make politicians look cool. It gives off the impression the candidate is an insecure idiot who hasn’t done anything worth talking about. What do these alleged accomplishments have to do with their ability to run our country anyway?
3. If you can’t smile, then just don’t. I know that looks aren’t everything, but when you’re running for public office they are something. I’m going to be pretty frank here, when Romney smiles, it creeps me out. It just looks phony and like he’s trying too hard. His smile sort of reminds me of that guy in the park that just sits on the bench and sort of stares at passersby. It’s also reminds me of the same guy that your parents always told you not to go near when you were a little kid. The best advice I could give Romney is to just find a “smiley alternative”. A subtle smirk, or even a neutral frown thing. The lesson to be learned is to never do what I like to call, “the Romney Face”. In other words, don't fake emotion. Putting on a happy face doesn’t earn a candidate votes. Play to your strengths and don't do what you think other people want to see. This rule of thumb can also apply to life in general. If science isn’t your cup of tea, don’t become a marine biologist. Play to your strengths. Even if your strengths aren’t strong at all, whatever you do please don’t do "the Romney Face". It’s just plain creepy.