Of Tattoos, Body Piercings and Frontrunners
Writing for Slate
, Columbia University sociology professor Duncan Watts articulates
the process by which human nature creates frontrunners in primary seasons despite the qualifications of those in the field. Recalling the experiments of Solomon Asch
at Princeton in the 1950's, it's the same sort of follow-the-leader mindset that creates ridiculous fads and leads people to get such useless things as tattoos and body piercings for no rational reason. Remember the pet rock? Now, as in years past, a diverse field of candidates is reduced to one unsatisfactory frontrunner, the same way we ended up with such luminaries as Michael Dukakis for Democratic nominees.