Recently Asked Questions
Here are a few questions we’ve been asked recently and our answers. Topics include money-in-politics messaging, Hillary Clinton’s political psychology and the post-Millennial generation.
Do you have any messaging advice for money-in-politics groups?
Yes. Groups working on this issue often say that all the money in the system makes our political process less democratic. But the word democratic is a homophone. To some people, it sounds like an implicit endorsement of the Democratic Party, which usually is not the intended meaning. Remember, it’s not what you say that counts: it’s what people hear that really matters. The easiest was to avoid this problem is to substitute the word representative anywhere you would use democratic or democracy. The term representative speaks more directly to the underlying value and avoids the partisan double meaning.
How would you describe Hillary Clinton’s political psychology?
Her ideological orientation is conventionalist (meritocratic worldview, cautious about change, trusts the system). Her primary political personality type is obsessive-compulsive (obligated, hardworking, empirical). And generationally, she’s a pretty typical Baby Boomer (values-oriented, polarizing, self-serving). Knowing these three things — ideological orientation, political personality and generation — provides a wealth of information about her strengths and her vulnerabilities as a leader.
Do political strategists need to focus on the post-Millennial generation?
It’s never to soon to start thinking about the future, but as a matter of political strategy it’s a bit premature. Using the Strauss and Howe generational breakpoints, the oldest members of the post-Millennial generation — tentatively dubbed the Homelanders or the Plurals — were born in 2005. Plurals won’t cast their first federal ballots until the 2024 presidential election. But this also means that millions of Millennials will be aging into the electorate between now and then. In 2016, about two thirds of all Millennials will be eligible to vote. Both parties need do a much better job appealing to this generation, because their participation rates and political strength are only going to increase in the years and decades to come.
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