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.

 

 

  • Eric Shun

    Oh, and by the way, about 25 years ago I sang exactly one song at Karaoke – “Born in the USA” – and rather enjoyed it.

    • Had a brother, at Khe Sahn…

      Great song, and I loved it when RR tried so claim it as patriotic!

  • Eric Shun

    AT 63 y/o, Jeb looks worn out and of low energy. As an introvert, Jeb’s eight years as a popular FL governor, attendant campaigning and hob-nobbing, and previous private-sector and government positions required tremendous energy and inter-personal skills, and must have been exhausting for him.

    In my early 20s, I was considering going to law school and was trying to gain some public service experience, and got appointed to my city’s (unpaid) code compliance committee. After just two lengthy committee meetings w/ a bunch of blowhards, I realized that I’d rather be home on the couch watching the Red Sox, and resigned and realized that committee participation was to be avoided if at all possible. I dread being assigned to a committee at my work place.

    • So true.

      The sense I got (get) correlated to your public service self-description, is that Jeb is plodding his way through this for his family’s benefit; he doesn’t really want it. Jeb has always lived for everyone else and his stooping shoulders tell us he is man who has no inner strength or solid defiance.

      He is “low energy” in the respect it is “mischanneled energy.”

      To this day, I only have pity for the man.

  • Wiless

    What’s weird is, our last PM was an introvert. Somehow, he fell into the role of party leader, then somehow, he became Prime Minister, and held that role for almost a decade, in spite of being more of an intellectual, policy wonk nerd, and not being comfortable with crowds, kissing babies and shaking hands, and all that political bullshit; the only time he let his hair down and relaxed was – I kid you not – when he rocked out singing and playing the keyboard in his part-time cover band gig:

    youtube.com/watch?v=8xJLyLxFmwI

    youtube.com/watch?v=58nyP7qq5Hw

    youtube.com/watch?v=JOt2Qp0H9G8

    youtube.com/watch?v=86O7DlVaLpo

    But Canadians perceived him as being arrogant, aloof, condescending, and now we have an extravert in the extreme, a GD boy wonder, who never passes up taking a GD selfie…

    google.ca/search?q=justin+trudeau+selfie&biw=1366&bih=588&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjnh5uhjYjLAhVHlR4KHX60AU0Q_AUIBigB

    {Sigh}

    • Fascinating.

      Many introverts overcome their nature by exposing themselves to such stimuli and situations. It’s quite a testament to their courage. I’ve tried to sing Karaoke while drunk and I still couldn’t do it.

      As a “strong introvert” I can assure you that such a combination invariably comes across as arrogant and aloof. A strong introvert does not give one single fuck what people think; if you have such disregard for other’s perceptions, how can that ever be construed as warmth?

      • Wiless

        Yes; I used to be an introvert, but somehow, I switched to being an extravert, and indeed, I do ascribe the 180 degree change to just ‘putting myself out there’, etc. (and yes, I have done karaoke, while drinking; I still probably wouldn’t do it otherwise, because it’s more fun that way).

        I still come across to some folks as arrogant and aloof, but I think that’s just because I don’t want to hang out with THEM, per se, even if I used to, because I got bored with them. :)

  • some dude

    Now this dickhead gives introverts a bad name. Is there anything this Baby Huey can’t fuck up?