Ron Paul’s Disgraceful Shoes, Redux

Manolo says, the matter of the disgraceful shoes of Ron Paul lives on, as the Ron Paul supporters have whipped themselves into the heady froth trying to defend the indefensible.

Ah, but there is push-back from the enlightened. Look, here is the D.C. Pleats telling us why Ron Paul should purchase better shoes.

Ron Paul's Horrible Shoes
There are a lot of Congressmen, businessmen, lawyers, doctors etc. who are 71 years old – and older – who dress professionally every day. I have searched a bit and not found any articles or anything else that would lead me to believe Paul has any sort of health problem in which he would need the extra comfort shoes. I did find out that he wears these sneakers everyday, which is even worse than I thought, just wearing them to a CEAFU reception. But even if he does have a medical situation in which he needs the extra support, there are plenty of manufacturers out there that make classy, well-polished and – dare I say it – comfortable shoes for men in all price ranges.

Here’s my problem, which I really feel Paul doesn’t understand: There is just a certain level of dress and professionalism associated with being in the political-public eye. And this is a completely unpartisan comment – I had issue with President Bush’s terrible outfit when he wore his Crocs and am constantly baffled by Hillary’s wardrobe – but when you are the leader of the free world, or running for that office, you need to present yourself as such. Everyone is looking to you to set the example; you are quite literally the icon of America. Now I know Bush has made quite a few political fumbles in the past six plus years, but in general, he’s dressed well while making them. He had to, he was on camera, and if Ron Paul chooses to put himself in that limelight he better act and dress the part.

And this is exactly what the Manolo (and any sensible person) would say about the clothing and the fashion.

In the fact, the Manolo has referred to this in the past as the Paradox of Not Caring

[C]laiming to not care about the clothes, to not be concerned about what one wears, is the paradox, for the clothes worn by one who claims not to care make as much the statement as those worn by one who dresses with purpose.

These inescapable facts obtain: that clothes are always necessary, and that others they will always judge us by them. These are the reasons why the Manolo he would have you dress with the purpose, to consider carefully what you would wear, and to think about the effect your clothes, and how you wear, them will have on others.

Of the course, this does not mean that you must dress to please others, nor that you should follow the lowing herd, but rather that you should be conscious of the image you are projecting.

For the example, if you wish to project the image of carefree disdain for the high fashion, be aware that your dirty t-shirt of the Oakland Raiders, torn sweat pants, and flip-flops may not be conveying that exact message, may in the stead be saying to the by passer, “Cross to the other side of the street, lest this person’s disdain for personal hygiene and grooming infect you with the parasites.”

Manolo says, the fashion, it is not the nuclear rocket brain surgery.

Ron Paul’s cheap shoes and his sloppy clothes say that he is not the serious person, that he does not care that the image he projects is of the small town, small time appliance salesman. Yes, this look is perhaps what endears him to his arm-waving and humorless supporters, but it inspires no confidence in the saner and more adult members of society.

Finally, as the example of how the change of clothes can completely alter how one regards the person, the Manolo gives you PopoZão.

P.S. From the Manolo’s internet friend Miss Janey comes this response, Honestly, when did it become desirable to look undesirable?

36 Responses to “Ron Paul’s Disgraceful Shoes, Redux”

  1. ashley churchill July 6, 2007 at 11:57 am #

    manolo, this is so timely! i was going to leave you a rant today anyways, and now it’s actually relevant. walking out of the subway to work today, i had to displeasure to seeing not one, but THREE different people wearing socks with their sandals, and not in a fashionable Miu Miu sort of way, but in a “I have no idea how bad this looks’ kind of way.” It was literally painful to see, and I knew you’d understand. Footwear speaks volumes people!

  2. linda grant July 6, 2007 at 12:40 pm #

    Hold on. What happened to Whose Shoes Wednesday?

  3. Manolo the Shoeblogger July 6, 2007 at 1:35 pm #

    Many apologies for not conducting the Whose Shoes Wednesday. It was the Fourth of July and so the Manolo decided to give it the day off.

  4. Wendy July 6, 2007 at 1:43 pm #

    The Paradox of Not Caring fascinates me! So often, a “don’t care” attitude about clothes, appearance, or image is the external manifestation of deeply-rooted unconscious beliefs about oneself. “I don’t need to look good” and “clothes don’t make the man” are statements that often indicate a firm belief that the speaker doesn’t deserve to dress well or look good, and thus never really has. Such people (I used to be one) are amazed the first time they put on clothes that fit and flatter, and the compliments start; they’re amazed not just that clothes can change how they look, but also to how they feel. One amazing outfit can work a miraculous change on the “don’t care” attitude toward appearance and dress.

  5. gemdiva July 6, 2007 at 2:51 pm #

    When I was growing up, which, granted was in the olden days, the manner in which you presented yourself (i.e. well-groomed and as polished as possible) was an indication that you respected not only yourself, but the company in which you found yourself. Hence, you dressed your best for school, church, social gatherings and at work you dressed in a manner that said “I am a serious person with serious goals, who is worthy to be considered for advancement”.

    It is not necessary to spend a fortune, but polish your shoes and get pants that fit. These things are not expensive or frivolous. Let’s not forget, that the hole in the bottom of Adlai Stevenson’s shoe cost him an election by pegging him as the absent minded, intellectual elitist.

    BTW, I am not a Republican, just someone who feels that universally, our manners are slipping. So BRAVO Manolo for upholding good solid “American” values!

  6. tim July 6, 2007 at 3:19 pm #

    vote for the shoes ,not the man . fuck freedom !shoe welfare is much more important.

  7. Rubiatonta July 6, 2007 at 4:35 pm #

    I, too, wish that the more slovenly among us understood that their attire says, “I don’t care about myself, and I don’t care much about you either.” Because I am a person of somewhat generous proportions, I feel it is even more important for me to be appropriately dressed, coiffed, and shod. That and the fact that my father was a military officer. One doesn’t leave the house if one doesn’t pass inspection.

    Then again, perhaps the sartorially-challenged Mr. Paul is a subscriber to the old adage, “aunque la mona vista de seda, mona se queda.” (Roughly, “you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.”)

  8. Ryno July 6, 2007 at 5:03 pm #

    You hit the nail on the head with the Paradox of Not Caring. A friend of mine used to criticize me for often being in uniform due to my then-association with soccer, baseball, scouts or whatever. And when I was dressed for business, I was dressed for business. This guy, belss his heart, wears the hippie uniform every day of his life, but does not realize it is a uniform. It began is part as a rebellion against his father who was a tailor. He is now in his 60′s.

    Here in this town we have a lot of counter-culture types and they are, in my opinion, ostentatiously counter-culturally dressed. In some cases, at all times even when it has got to be suprememly uncomfortable in certain weather conditions. I think a lot of individualism and originality is actually lost in these cases. As my 20-year-old but wise son says, we often define ourselves by what we rebel against!

  9. JHoward July 6, 2007 at 5:47 pm #

    Bravo Manolo. While Ron Paul supporters will not understand this coming from a fellow small-government Libertarian such as myself, I won’t vote for the man, among other things, because his apathy to his professional status and presumed credentials and abilities does not speak well of a man seeking such an office as that of President, especially with his long and fairly distinguished congressional career behind him.

    Imagine: flying our foremost ambassador to any country to conduct state business looking like said small town appliance salesman will surely diminish the entire office, not to mention the mission and the country. That kind of disadvantage I’m not interested in.

  10. roz July 6, 2007 at 6:16 pm #

    Ashley makes Roz cringe slightly, as Roz’s son, 4 1/2, insists on wearing socks with his new Keen sandals, which were already fairly cringeworthy sockless.

  11. Ryno July 6, 2007 at 6:26 pm #

    Good point JHoward. I remember in years past we used to criticize the Soviets for showing up in second-rate clothes. I like Ron Paul’s politics – yes I’m a libertarian too – but I think people need to dress for whatever business they are conducting. Not that I appreciate the overfed overdressed overpaid schmoozers who make up most of our beloved government, but I understand and support basic business practices. Here in the office: dress pants and shoes and shirt. As soon as I get home: shorts or cargo pants, tank top, no shoes. Unless I go out to dinner.

  12. Gene July 7, 2007 at 9:22 am #

    The rules of dress are changing. Comfort and convenience trumps outmoded, stuffy ideals of how one should dress. Flip flops, tshirts and tattoos are becoming more accepted in the workplace. Quit being judgemental. It’s not the outside of someone that’s important, it’s what’s inside.

  13. SchmuckofNI July 7, 2007 at 10:01 am #

    Lame. Who cares what shoes this man wears, the message he is putting out there outweighs what he looks like!

  14. gemdiva July 7, 2007 at 10:40 am #

    Gene, beg to differ. Many companies are rethinking their interpretation of a “casual” dress code as too many employees have taken it to the extreme with just the type of attire you describe. No one who has worked their tail off building a company wants a new client’s first impression to be that they have just entered a crash pad or biker bar.

    In our company that attire was tolerated for a while (the worst offenders were in our IT department), because we thought it would make for a more productive workplace. Turns out we were dead wrong. Work standards slipped and our IT department produced, well, nothing but excuses for years.

    We tightened up our dress code to what we call “country club casual” (no jeans, no T-shirts, no rubber flip flops), fired our entire IT department and hired new programmers who actually dressed neatly and actually fulfilled the needs of our staff and clients.

    Bottom line…..our company is now more profitable and productive than ever and our employees, amazingly enough, are very happy. So Gene, unless you are Bill Gates (who the last time I saw him was wearing a suit) or lead singer in a band, or have set your career sights no higher than the mail room, I suggest you rethink your wardrobe. You actually can be comfortable without being sloppy. Our motto is “If you would wear it to clean the garage, don’t wear it to work”.

  15. J Talbot July 7, 2007 at 11:21 am #

    Man are you people superficial… as a matter of fact, if you’d actually READ the stories on Ron paul and his shoes you’d know that RON PAUL HAS WORN TENNIS SHOES EVER SINCE HAVING KNEE SURGERY. But hey, since it’s obviously only the clothes that matter about our image with the rest of the world, let’s start a write in campaign and VOTE DICK CHENEY FOR PRESIDENT because his thousand dollar suits and expensive shoes bought with Halliburton war profits. Very business like, and obviously the very IMAGE we want to project to the world… give me a break. I suppose Ghandi was completely ineffective because of the way he dressed… Bottom line, EXPENSIVE/STYLISH CLOTHES ARE ONLY IMPORTANT TO THOSE WHO LACK THE SELF CONFIDENCE TO BE JUDGED ON THE STRENGTH OF THEIR CONVICTIONS, MESSAGE AND ACTIONS.

  16. Toby Wollin July 7, 2007 at 11:28 am #

    GemDiva is absolutely dead-on here. I work for a small non-regulated subsidiary of a utility and we had nothing but heartburn with people early on wearing everything from flip-flops to flannel PJ pants to work. The boss outlawed backless shoes for safety reasons (we’re on the fifth floor and after 9/11, he had this horror of people falling down the stairs while evacuating) and made sure he and all the senior people dressed casually well and laid down the law with everyone else. Even our IT guy got into it (and this guy was an inveterate slob). Morale soared. The whole “it’s what is on the inside that counts” argument is meaningless. No one will get close enough to you to find out what you’ve got to offer on the inside if you look and act like a slob. “Business Casual” and “Casual Fridays” frankly, in my opinion, have done absolutely nothing to improve morale or business operations and also, I feel, have worked to the absolute detriment to women, especially short women, who many times have to fight to get any recognition or respect in the workplace. The better you dress as a woman, the greater respect you get. This is not to say that we should all haul out our copies of John Morris’ “Dress for Success” — I lived through the whole “suit and little floppy bow” business and that is a huge mistake also as the message dressing like that sends is “I don’t have any confidence on my own and feel I have to try to look like a fake man in order to be accepted in business.” But anyone who wishes to be taken seriously, no matter where they work, or what organization they belong to, or what meetings they attend, etc. needs to make sure that when they leave the house every day, that their clothing sends the message they want it to send. Mr. Paul’s shoes and his entire ensemble are in direct contradiction to his message, which as a Libertarian, is rather revolutionary. He wants his message to be taken seriously; therefore, he should dress that way. And that means, a good suit (please, the man has money) that fits him correctly in the shoulders and chest and pants that fall and break where they are supposed to and God help us, a good pair of men’s dress shoes in the appropriate color. In comparison to the many many decisions and pitfalls that women have to negotiate every single day to just “get through”, Mr. Paul has a cakewalk here.

  17. gemdiva July 7, 2007 at 1:33 pm #

    OK JTalbot, before I am accused of maligning the handicapped, let me tell you I have two of the worst knees ever put on the planet and I have the MRIs to prove it. I don’t have the time for knee replacement surgery right now, but I’d crawl over broken glass before I’d be caught dead in anything resembling Ron Paul’s Tennies in a business situation. There are many other options if you care about your appearance, that provide both comfort and an air of professionalism without breaking into your kids’ college funds. I am not talking “EXPENSIVE/STYLISH CLOTHES” here. I’m talking clean neat good fitting clothes and good grooming. Helllooooo. Wake up and smell the shoe polish.

  18. Donna DW July 7, 2007 at 1:39 pm #

    I have to gently disagree with those who say that dressing casually does nothing for morale or productivity, at least in my experience. I work at an IT company where basically anything short of indecency goes and never have I found such a happy, positive group of people. I have worked there almost two years and have yet to hear a bad word spoken about the company. It is a bad jarring to see people wearing such bad clothing and I can’t bring myself to do it, but the company I work with has been growing steadily. One positive benefit is that it’s nice to always feel like the best dressed person in the room eve if it’s kind of a “in the kinddom of the blind, the one eyed man is king” kind of good.

  19. Norma Desmond July 7, 2007 at 2:27 pm #

    What no one can tell me is how buying ugly, poorly made, ill fitting, quickly worn-out shoes and clothing is more efficient or intelligent or even inexpensive — because it’s not. All the chest-thumping and brow-beating and CAPITAL LETTERS OF DOOM can’t mask the fact that it takes as much effort to buy crappy clothes as to buy good ones (given that good ones wear better and last longer and don’t need to be replaced as frequently), and, over time, at least as much or more money (for the same reasons).

    In a public figure, this kind of sloppiness betrays a tendency of mind that is far more alarming than mere poor taste: the tendency to forgo a careful analysis of cost-effectiveness in favor of cheap, quick-and-dirty solutions that are sub-standard in the short run and in the long run more costly. How’s that for being superficial?

  20. la petite chou chou July 7, 2007 at 8:56 pm #

    Couldn’t agree more. In fact, I couldn’t say it better myself Nora.

  21. Henry July 8, 2007 at 11:01 am #

    Quick question for anyone: what are good resources for those of us with bad feet (via auto accident) to get good quality, dressy men’s shoes? I’ve got a need for a wider and higher toebox and higher instep than most shoes, especially European-style shoes. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks!

  22. Norma Desmond July 8, 2007 at 12:32 pm #

    Henry, I’ve noticed that Zappo’s tends to have a broader variety of sizes, and they have an excellent returns policy. If you see a pair that looks as if it will work for you, you can order it without fear as, if it turns out not to fit as well as you’d hoped, they will take the shoes back no questions asked (as long as they’re not damaged) for a full year. (I promise I am not a shill.) Having no expertise in the matter myself, this would be the only suggestion I could make. I hope the Manolo will see and answer your question.

  23. gemdiva July 9, 2007 at 8:49 am #

    Henry, I agree with Nora. Zappos is the best for what you need. I also have hard to fit feet and they have been a godsend. Good Luck!

  24. 3V98P0hmF_GRIlMiG7JlmdCegIcXit2md_Jp70oby-I. July 9, 2007 at 11:09 am #

    Hola to the Toby Wallin! La BellaDonna, she wonders if the Toby is referring to the classic Dress for Success and Women’s Dress for Success (followed by New Dress for Success and New Women’s Dress for Success) by the John T. Molloy? Or is the John Morris a different author, with the philosophy also worth reading?

  25. David Clark July 10, 2007 at 4:01 pm #

    what a bunch of fucking flakes you all are. i trust ron paul more because he doesn’t wear flashy clothes. i will tell you what speaks volumes – Ron Paul’s humility in how he dresses and presents himself. flash in a politician makes me ill to my stomach and i am sick and tired of it. marcus auralias, the stoic leader of Rome, dressed plainly and lived simply and he is considered one of the great rulers of Rome. get over it people.

  26. joshuabrucel July 10, 2007 at 4:28 pm #

    Like ohmygod did you see how funy his legs looked on the abc interview the other day? I was gonna vote for Ron Paul to help constrain tyranny and end international slaughter of the innocents but now i’ve changed my mind. Did you see how his Iowa supporters were wearing frumpy pleated shorts and dorky shirts? Its a good thing freedom is based on apearance. Not! I’m sure your hipness will help you survive the coming internment camps for freethinkers. Oh wait you don’t have to worry about that. Or maybe I don’t care because I’m a dirty hippie radical lefty who supports Ron Paul.

  27. Norma Desmond July 12, 2007 at 12:27 pm #

    Ah, the outsized umbrage of the humorless and not particularly sensible people. How little it affects one.

  28. dangster July 12, 2007 at 2:11 pm #

    You people obviously don’t work for software companies such as Google/MS/Yahoo/etc, where casual dress reigns. Unless you are in an executive position, wearing a suit will only get you snickered at. At these companies, employees tend to work very long hours (50-60 hrs/wk is common, sometimes more). If I’m gonna be slaving away in front of my computer for 15 hrs straight, I damn well better be wearing something comfortable.

    But I do think that if you are in a position where you will be seen by customers/clients/media, you should at least make an effort to look presentable.

  29. Hunter August 6, 2007 at 7:32 pm #

    Ron Paul has had knee replacement surgery in BOTH knees. I think that is a fully sufficient excuse for him to wear shoes that are aimed at comfort over style.

    But for those of you that find it to be a problem, how about you contact the campaign and find out his shoe size, then you can send him a sample of a shoe that you believe provide a more professional appearance while still offering him the comfort that he requires.

    I love Ron Paul!!!!

    –Hunter

  30. cj October 7, 2007 at 12:26 am #

    lol he should at least hem his pants lol

  31. Jake October 25, 2007 at 2:49 pm #

    It’s saner to decide one’s foreign policy based on shoes? No one in Congress imputes Ron Paul’s character – his honesty, seriousness, and effectiveness as a congressman are among his most noted characteristics – so I certainly hope you don’t base anything on his footwear. I’m with Hunter though; he’d probably wear a different pair if you suggested it (as long as it didn’t hurt his knees).

  32. Hezekiel December 2, 2007 at 3:07 am #

    Be careful: one might take away from this article that you believe the sane and the adults concern themselves more with attire than with character and policy. “Avast! This man cares not about the sabots upon his feet… To hell with his foreign and domestic policy, a lack of fashion sense will surely doom us all!”

    I’m sorry, I’m an engineer. Some things in my life are more important than shoes.

  33. jrok December 6, 2007 at 4:47 pm #

    He is 70 years old and walks more than probably any of you because he is campaigning . Some people ride around in golf carts so why dont you go easy on him until he becomes president and then you can judge his shoes when he is not walking miles every day.

  34. Amy January 12, 2008 at 4:58 pm #

    Holy crap you’re right! His shoes aren’t completely fabulous!

    I don’t know if I can vote for him anymore, thank god someone pointed this out.

    Oh wait, my brain just kicked in again-it only means he’s not gay. Hmm, can I vote for a non-gay candidate who would allow gay marriage in this country?

    Yeah, I can do that. Carry on.

  35. Leather Jackets Manufacturer May 25, 2010 at 6:16 am #

    lol he should at least hem his pants lol.

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