When we had school-wide elections in high school, a classmate of mine astutely proclaimed, “this ain’t nothing but a popularity contest.”
Adult life and high school are not so different. I’ll show you how.
Barack Obama won the Presidency in 2008. Then, he won re-election in 2012.
I voted for him both times. Maybe you did, too, if you’re an American with voting rights. It’s OK if you didn’t.
But if you did indeed vote, I have a challenge for you.
Name five of the political policies that Barack Obama ran on.
OK, perhaps 2008-12 was too long ago.
How about five policies of Trump or Clinton from 2016?
Can you name three?
Unless you’re part of the 1% of the American population who actively follows politics or works in politics in some capacity (commentator, writer, etc), you probably can’t answer.
Yet, you still exercised your right to vote. So how did you decide?
The same way that everyone else in the 99% of “uninformed” voters decides. The same way we decided in the 10th grade.
We choose who we like the most.
Entrepreneur and former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg recently entered the 2020 race. There was a video going around at what I guess was Bloomberg’s entering-the-race event. The clip was less than a minute long, but it wasn’t very exciting.
The first thing I thought: “This guy won’t defeat Trump.”
How did I come to this conclusion, being that I know nothing about the policies of any candidate, and couldn’t explain them to you even if someone wrote them all down for me?
Let’s go back to Obama to understand.
Why did Barack win in 2008 and 2012? His policies? Political track record? Offering favorable tax breaks to the right people?
No. No. No.
Barack Obama won in 2008 because his presence, energy and what he represented excited enough people to move them to 1) Show up to the polls, and 2) Vote for him.
This is the same reason he won again in 2012.
It’s also why Trump won in 2016: Trump got enough people excited about him to move them to go and vote for him. That’s all.
There is no other reason.
In 2020, the winner will be the person who can best get people excited about them.
The 2020 election will NOT be about political policy. It will NOT be about taxes. It will NOT be about foreign relations.
If someone unseats Donald Trump, it will be the person who can get enough people excited about them to go vote for them. And that group has to be strategically (for the electoral college) larger than Trump’s fan base (which doesn’t appear to have gotten any smaller since 2016, but what do I know…).
People who never voted before and who may never vote again voted in 2008 and 2012. Why? Because Barack Obama created a movement that got people excited.
Trump? He did the same thing and created the same phenomenon (though for a different set of people) in 2016.
Who’s doing it now?
The 2020 election is 11 months away. QUICK: name the Democratic candidate who has you excited to go and vote for them.
Consult the following MasterClasses on energy and moving people to action:
#1216: Your Energy Is More Important Than Your Skill
#1087: How To Have Energy That Attracts Good Things To You
#557: Inspiring Your Team With Your Energy As A Leader
#427: High Energy: Creating It, and What To Do With It
#442: How To Push Yourself To Action
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