Art and science are different but compatible. These two disciplines must each be mastered by presidential candidates. There is a science to politics, but good politics rises to an art form. The successful candidate will be the person who best masters the art. The science can be hired out. Art is a gift – a talent – ultimately once can learn about art, but being an artist is about natural ability.
John Edwards has mastered the science – that is his forte. He is an accomplished trial lawyer – able to dissect issues and to articulate a case. Hillary Clinton has studied the science of politics for her entire life. She is a gifted intellect who has a clear grasp of all issues. John McCain has clarity of political science. Mike Huckabee is an artist – but he lacks the science. Again – the talent of political art, coupled with a thorough understanding of the science, is the ticket to success. Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan, John Kennedy, and Franklin Roosevelt come to mind.
Most of the candidates speak in eloquent prose. They articulate the multitude of issues and their positions at the drop of a pundit question. Proper use of grammar and choice of words are measured. Content speaks to the level of scientific understanding.
But poetry. Where is the art? Who speaks to our souls? The art of poetry resonates with the masses. Shakespeare did not tell unique stories of love – he merely expressed his stories in a manner that each of us can feel in the depth of our being. Dickens and Dumas spoke to social justice in a manner that resonates over generations and cultures. They did not tell us something we did not know – they did not present scientific statistical analysis of demographics and economies. But anyone who reads their works comes away with a sense of satisfaction and understanding.
Barack Obama’s success speaks to his use of poetic prose. He is an educated attorney, experienced on the streets of Chicago and the depths of world humanity. He has been nurtured in the science, and he has a gift for the art of invigorating prose.
These qualities will prevail – because at our fundamental roots – we Americans sense truth. And it is art that provokes our senses.