Individual Politicians Don't Matter?

by Patrick Appel

Ezra Klein shrewdly observes:

Campaigns are built to fool us into thinking that we're voting for individuals. We learn about the candidate's family, her job, her background -- even her dog. But we're primarily voting for parties. The parties have just learned we're more likely to vote for them if they disguise themselves as individuals. And American politics would work better if we understood that.

This is one reason why I typically don't trust profiles. How can a journalist accurately represent a politician, CEO, or celebrity? Famous people are selling a certain version of themselves for personal gain. Most profiles end up reflecting that manufactured identity instead of deconstructing it.

(Hat tip: MR)