Barrack Obama becomes President – another explanation approach

I have a huge interest in explanations why people do what people do. Why do people follow religious leaders and even fight wars for them? Why does countries run into war? Why do we vote a specific candidate? The good thing is, these things have been subject to uncounted researches. Today I’ll use some of the results to undermine the statement in the headline. It will show that human beings are less rational and logical as they should and can be.

Normally we should elect the person with the best program and whom we assume is the best leader. But I believe that programs are there merely to be ignored afterwards (at least in Germany where I’m allowed to vote). That lead to a lot of frustration for me, but that’s another story. Than, what else makes me (us people) believe a specific candidate is the best of all the options? Robert B. Cialdini wrote a very interesting book “The Psychology of Persuasion”, in that he discusses why we do things and sometimes run into – afterwards really obvious – traps and how these persuasion techniques work. While I was reading that book, I found some pretty good explanations and will give examples for my thesis. Since this is not a real thesis, I made this assumption: Barrack Obama and John McCain will be the candidates for their parties at next years presidential elections.

1. While in his book Cialdini is discussing seven different concepts, I only use some examples as they come up to me right away, but first of all I’ll bring an example towards elections he brought himself in his book, and that was referring to authority that is directly related to height of candidates. According to studies, we do perceive a authoritative person taller than less authoritative persons. And vice versa, a taller person is perceived more authoritative. In his book (sorry for not citing my german version of the book) he states that in all american presidential elections only 3 times (out of nearly 30) the smaller candidate made it. So, how tall are McCain and Obama? From http://www.celebheights.com we find Obama to be 185cm. The same site, different page we find in the comments that John McCain is 170cm. That difference can’t even be wiped out with some heels and big hair. Big plus for Barrack. People look for a leader (that also might be one of the reasons why Bush had been re-elected last time, he was determined to finish things he had started).

2. Once we committed ourselves to something, we find more and more reason to stick to it. So therefore nobody will switch from democrats to republican or vice versa. But that’s nothing new, the elections are decided by the undetermined voters. Sympathy comes in. And how does sympathy/liking work?

  • Attractive people get more sympathies.
  • Similarities: Well, a lot of afro-american people of course will vote Barrack (‘He’s one of us’). As from what I heard, Latinos will not, at least they did not during the pre-elections, they’ve voted Clinton. But will they vote Republican or is their commitment to vote democratic stronger? I’d say they vote democratic, they will find and make up reasons for Barrack.
  • Contacts and Cooperation: We associate people with those they are surrounded by. That is why during elections the candidates try to be seen with as many celebrities and get publicity. And again, a Kenedy and Oprah on Barracks side. These are also seen as authorities and therefore they must be right…

3. Social proof, the mass can’t be wrong. This one thing the future will show, e.g. how many money the candidates can raise. That will tell indecisive people: “Oh, he raised more money, that means the rich and successful or the mass know he must be right.” As well figures, if this card is played well, of certain industries can be supportive. E.g. in California, a lot of new economy settled, they might be interested to find support for their industry. And what will someone working in that industry think when he sees that his industry (Communications/Electronics) supports the democrats far more than the republicans? That voting for the democrats is better for his future. But this game I’m sure will be well played by all parties, though the current (Feb 2008) figures speak democrats rather than republican.

4. Last but not least is not something found specifically in the book, but is rather common sense. How is my current situation at the end of republican lead? Hm, not too good I’d say with the crash of subprime market, fear of recession, job losses and never ending war in the last 12 month.

Ok, there is no clear final result, but as I said, I just wanted to find support for why I believe Barrack Obama will become president. He’s young, fresh and a completely new concept (afro-american background). That will be the perfect slogan after a devastating Bush period. Not from an international point of view, but even from american perspective the last four years did not go to well.

All in all my thoughts shall just make you think, think this is weird. Are we really just better educated automates? Acting like that? Yes, possibly. Would explain partially why wars are fought for wrong reasons (coz we are told it is the right reason; authority; reciprocal behaviour; GENES*) and religion has just such a power of people. Or why we vote for dumb asses.

PS: *Yes, the genes may play a role as well, but that I will discuss separately. Just as a bullet point: genes and dopamin levels and their influence onto the will to rule and acceptance to be ruled.

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3 Responses

  1. Obama has cheated, lied, paid millions of people to vote for him, . I am not shocked that the American people were deceived. Most of them are stupid. Enjoy the 2nd Great Depression, Socialism, and Terrorism.

  2. bill clinton is 6.2inchez tall, arnold shwerznigger is 6.2inchez tall…all that according to http://www.celebrityheights.com well OBAMA is taller than them!

  3. 185cm is around 6.1inchez tall…OBAMAS wife Michelle stands at 5.11inches tall…she’s never on flat shoes when she is with barack…and still barack clearly stands at around 2inchez or higher above her.,i bliv he stands at 6.2 1/2-6.3 inches tall…

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