How To Win Elections And Influence Voters – Five Traits Of Charismatic Politicians And People


By: Justin Hartfield

Unlike the traditional think tank, whose ideas are introduced into the mainstream only after decades of academic discussion, it is this organization’s duty to promote the greater awareness of American politics through mass appeal. We believe it is also the American politician’s duty to be in touch with his constituency and communicate more effectively to them than as most do currently. Frankly, America is missing the great orators and politicians of yesteryear, who were able to spark intelligent debate amongst the populace. It is in this spirit that the PI provides several tips which politicians and citizens alike can use to increase their own personal magnetism.

1. They find everything fascinating

Interesting people find everything interesting: their fellow humans, a leaf, the sound of the ocean, even a pebble on the ground. JFK was noted for his ability to consume several thick tomes in one single sitting. They pay incredible attention to detail; it has been said that Bill Clinton has the ability to recall the names of people he shook hands with years prior. Life is in the details, and good politicians should be able to recall the names of every foreign dignitary and the voting record of all their major rivals.

The only way to verbalize particularly fascinating or insightful ideas is to actually be fascinated by the ideas which are being conveyed. There is no way to fake this. If a candidate has shallow knowledge of a particular platform issue, their rhetoric will reflect their lack of passion.

2. They relate well to their audience

The archetype for the late 20th century politician would have to be President Clinton. Not only was he artful with his diction, he was able to adapt instantly to any social setting. His appearance on MTV, marked by the famous “I didn’t inhale” (talk about artful), was a lesson on suavity and assimilation. His other famous TV stunt, a Jazz saxophone performance on The Arsenio Hall Show, was like watching Woods 30′ chip-in at Augusta: a remarkable performance by a professional in the prime of his career doing exactly what he does best. By showing America that he was actually in touch and even somewhat cool (especially in comparison to the incumbent George Bush), he was better able to relate to the general public and thus gain their trust. The elder President Bush was only able to watch his opponent on television, wholly aware of his own inability to relate to the common citizen.

3. They always leave you with a sense of wanting more

Comedians save their best joke for the end of their set. Magicians save their best trick until the finale. Lawyers save their best rhetorical defenses for the closing arguments. They are all trying to leave the audience with a sense of wanting more. By verbally slapping the audience with a brilliant piece of logic in the closing sentences of a closing argument, a shrewd lawyer can negate holes in the mind of the jurors and swing the panel in their favor.

A good ending can be almost a panacea. It allows listeners to dissolve any logical fallacies they’ve discovered prior to the conclusion and turns their attention solely on the piece of information in climax. So the charismatic politician takes this idea one step further and sandwiches their audience with a great opening, then boring political rhetoric, then a great close. One of the better speeches in the history of this young nation was extremely short as Presidential speeches go, but featured a great opening and a great close and almost certainly left the audience wanting more. A gifted politician is always giving his audience the gift of missing him.

4. They often have hyper-masculine or other sexual auras

A politician is a salesman who is selling himself as the product. The strong and distinctive voice, from Roosevelt to JFK to Clinton, is a testament to the power of a strong masculine aura. America adores its combat heros; it’s the reason why former Generals get elected President. It’s the reason why an actor with practically no prior government related experience can beat an incumbent on a recall for the highest position in the California state legislature. The gamblin’, rough-and-ready cowboy is in every young American boy’s imagination and every young female’s heart.

Ann Coulter is engaging because of her contrasting hyper-masculine demeanor combined with her attractive feminine appearance. It is human nature to assume that an extraordinarily masculine person would also be a good leader. Here comes the Governator to kick the “wussies'” asses, take their women (funny how those accounts of Arnold’s infidelity and harassment only increased his popularity), and fire .50 caliber ammo through all of his predecessors “girly” contracts. What about the first televised Presidential debate featuring a sickly, sweaty, stooped over Nixon and a dynamic, effervescent Kennedy? Sex sells, especially in politics, because it is an area which is mostly devoid of attractive personalities.

5. They always make you think they have your best interests at heart

An adept statesman can make a voter believe that he is actually more important than just one individual. Politicians in their speeches use the royal “we” instead of “I” to create a sense of togetherness. It’s “us” versus the system, “we” are “united” against this Bush administration, a “coalition” to boycott Knott’s Berry Farm. He also makes you believe that he is “working for the little guys,” and he can still hear their voices despite the “underhanded smear tactics” of his opposition trying to reframe the “real issues.”

Justin graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Information and Computer Science from the University of California at Irvine in 2004. Justin serves as the Deputy Editor of the Prometheus Insitute and has been on the staff since the Institute’s inception. Justin is an expert in internet research and development, and plans to graduate with an M.B.A. from the Paul Merage School of Business at the University of California Irvine in 2009. His interests include swimming, meditating, and low stakes games of Hi/Lo Crazy Pineapple at the Bicycle Casino.