Jeb Bush, the stranger in a strange, extroverted land.
Jeb, and me.
We are alike.
I could have told you this without learning officially that he self-identifies as an introvert from an interview with Anderson Cooper.
Just because you share a quality with someone does not necessarily endear you to them. In fact, it might actual repel you a bit. Introverts, by nature, do not seek kinship or “communion” with others. They like to join online introverts forums in which the disconnected nature of cyber communication is isolated and only triggered upon command. When you belong to an online introvert forum, none of the other morons can come knocking on your door or call you on the telephone at the worst time (which for an introvert is just about all the time).
My “introvert radar (introdar)” told me Jeb was an introvert. Anybody can sense it. This Presidential contest has become, on one level, the battle of the extrovert and the introvert, although, to be honest, Jeb’s position in the race hardly warrants “contender” status.
Jeb boasts that he “overcame” his introversion, as if it’s a battle with one’s innate character, as if it’s a battle with something distasteful about oneself. I don’t respect the introvert who speaks in such terms. Introversion is not something you overcome. Introversion is not a drug habit, it is not an addiction or a phobia. It is a core substance of your personality which dictates how you interact with the external world. It is not something you turn off and on. Many public figures are introverts but they do not turn the demons of introversion away simply by excluding them. An introvert learns to accept his introversion, and in so doing, releases the facile battle against an imaginary enemy. In accepting introversion, in welcoming it as part of our persona, we do not fight it or display artificial counteractive personality traits that seek to extinguish it. Acceptance is the first step to being an introvert in an extroverted world.
If Jeb truly overcame his introversion, why is it so easy to spot that he is one?
His fumbling, halting, awkward manner is much my own. I would never choose to run for public office for my public presentation is self-conscious, repressed and monotonous. I do not stir emotion in others. I’m not running for President, however. Tell me how Jeb reached this position other than through the assistance of his familial legacy? I am Jeb Bush but you would never find me “commanding” a town hall meeting during this campaign cycle, or any campaign cycle.
At the 62 second mark, there is the undeniable Jeb-Jab against Donald Trump in which he refers to people who talk all the time, the “blowhards,” those who are decidedly not introverts; he’s obviously referring to Donald Trump, the antithesis to introversion. He brings up an irrefutable point: of course extroverts are so busy talking that they frequently spend all their interactive time doing that instead of absorbing. But in politics, in business, in interpersonal relationships, in America, this is what it takes to “move ahead.” The listener is discarded while the “explainer” is handed the microphone.
In my department, I work with a female Donald Trump. She rarely works, she is lazy, but she occasionally and strategically inserts herself into sporadic incidents of work, and during these times, talks loudly and profusely about how busy she is while insinuating how she is doing everyone’s job and making things work. She is blatantly full of shit, to me, the introvert. She is a blowhard, and you know what? People listen to her more than me, the hard-working introvert.
If Jeb believes his introversion stands a chance against Trump’s extroversion, I want him to explain the latest poll figures, for they are a poor testament to the efficacy of introversion in political discourse.
Jeb Bush’s introversion makes him a stranger in strange land. He is out of his element. He has no fire. Perhaps he’s better off leading a less impressionable group than the American public.