2012 Elections

It’s an election year in the US. The first primaries have been held in Iowa for the bid of the republican candidate who will contest President Obama in November this year. The winner there: is Mitt Romney. For now.

Another Republican contestant, Newt Gingrich, who was in the lead before, declared the elections to turn “ugly”. What else is new?They always turn ugly. Until… the day after the election. Then all Americans, like magic, swing to be in favor of the new President-elect.

Why is this?

Why do US elections always end up in smear campaigns when they’re going on, but end up decently “clean” (okay, except the 2000 elections when there were miscounts in Florida)?

Cultural Profile

The cultural profile (according to the cultural model of professor Geert Hofstede) of the US is the following:

  • Power Distance: 40
  • Individualism: 91 (the highest in the world)
  • Masculinity: 62 (not so high right? but linked to a very high score on individualism makes the individual want to stand out as being a clear “winner”.
  • Uncertainty avoidance: 46

The key to, from a cultural perspective, understanding the US elections is the dimension Masculinity.

What is Masculinity?

Masculinity has nothing to do with Gender! It determines the expected role of individuals within a society. Roughly speaking, men provide income, and women change diapers (very roughly speaking, but you get the idea).

This polarisation (Men are from Mars & Women are from Venus) is yet another characteristic of Masculinity. For instance, typical American Hollywood movies are very polarized. There is always a villain and a good guy. Or there’s a good cop, a bad cop. Or there is the good guy who loses it all (by his own doing or not), but turns around and ends up on top in the end.

The same polarization holds true for the upcoming US election process. Fundamentally the US has a two-party system. Republicans and Democrats. And yes, I know, there’s the Independent. But basically the Independent can only snoop voters away from the Democrats. Not from the Republicans.

This polarized political system (part of Masculinity) linked with the motivation to win (also part of Masculinity) at all cost, makes the whole election system such a tough fight.

The way the votes are counted comes roughly down to who has 50% of the votes + 1 vote. That gives the winner his/her majority.

But when finally the winner is declared, all ex-candidates congratulate the winner and ask/tell their electorate to side with the new President-Elect.

Is this year the same?

That’s the way it has always been, and this year it won’t be any different. It will turn ugly. Candidates will drop out or are forced to stop because of the smear campaigns. But on the evening of November 3rd the country will unite again as one and continue business as usual.

I’m curious to hear/read your opinion. Please leave a comment here below.



Get a Taste of How Chris Presents, Watch his TEDx Talk



12 + 11 =

call culture mattersCall Direct: +32476524957


whatsapp culture matters directlyEuropean Office (Paris) Whatsapp: +32476524957


The Americas (USA; Atlanta, GA; también en Español):  +1 678 301 8369

Book Chris Smit as a Speaker

If you're looking for an Engaging, Exciting, and Interactive speaker on the subject of Intercultural Management & Awareness you came to the right place.

Chris has spoken at hundreds of events and to thousands of people on the subject of Cultural Diversity & Cultural Competence.

This is What Others Say About Chris:

  • “Very Interactive and Engaging”
  • “In little time he knew how to get the audience inspired and connected to his story”
  • His ability to make large groups of participants quickly and adequately aware of the huge impact of cultural differences is excellent”
  • Chris is a dedicated and inspirational professional”

In addition, his presentations can cover specific topics cultural topics, or generally on Cultural differences.

Presentations can vary anywhere from 20 minutes to 2 hours and are given World Wide.

Book Chris now by simply sending an email. Click here to do so.

Read more about what Chris can do for you.

  • Percentage of People Rating a Presentation as Excellent 86% 86%
  • Rating the Presentation as Practical 89% 89%
  • Applicability of Chris' presentation 90% 90%

About Peter van der Lende

Peter van der Lende International business development

Peter has joined forces with Culture Matters.

Because he has years and years of international business development experience joining forces therefore only seemed logical.

Being born and raised in the Netherlands, he has lived in more than 9 countries of which most were in Latin America.

He currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia (USA) with his family.

You can find out more at https://expand360.com/

Or find out what Peter can do for you here.

Chris Smit
Latest posts by Chris Smit (see all)
We're looking for new Podcast Guests!

We're looking for new Podcast Guests!

If you think you or someone you know would make a good guest for our Culture Matters on International Business, drop us an email.

(make sure you or the person you know will be able to talk about International affairs!)

Thanks, we'll be back to you soon!