July 22, 2022

551: The Power of Persona


Brad Polumbo and I discuss the idea that persona plays a larger role than policy in the world of politics.

 

We talk about how politicians can use their personas to win over voters, even when they don't have a strong political record. We also touch on how politicians can use their personas to shape policy in ways that will help them win elections.

 

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Transcript

Brian Nichols  
Instead of focusing on winning arguments, we're teaching the basic fundamentals of sales and marketing and how we can use them to win in the world of politics, teaching you how to meet people where they're at on the issues they care about. Welcome to The Brian Nichols Show.

Unknown Speaker  
Yeah, so I'm glad you brought up on other people. Because this brings me to one of my

Brad Polumbo  
I have a good friend, Jack hunter who used to work for Rand Paul is a huge Rand Paul fan. And he has a theory about politics, that I over the last few years I've really become quite convinced by and his theory is that people aren't so much ideological per se, as they attach to personas and cults of personality. And when you ask yourself, who have been the most influential people in our politics in the last 10 years, think about the names that come to mind. Bernie Sanders, Alexandria, Ocasio Cortes, Donald Trump, those are the in the last five years, all those people, whether you love them or hate them have magnetic personalities, they have huge social media reach people follow them, to whatever ideological turf they go to. Yep. And they start on a somewhat similar page, and then they trust this person, like you said, building trust, and then that person can guide them to an ideological destination and movement in that's the problem. It's like the the single most effective libertarian people are simply Ron Paul. And then now Rand Paul. I mean, Rand Paul has millions of followers across social media. He's on cable news, reaching millions of people every single week. So he has a smaller compared to a Bernie or a Trump. But he has a very sizable, you know, 5 million people to follow him on Facebook, that when he puts forward a policy proposal to cut 55 billion in government waste, like you did last week. There's a huge base that goes with it, because they trust Ron Paul, Rand Paul, rather. And they say, Yeah, ran drain the swamp, go get them, right. Like, that is how the average American works. Because the average American isn't like you and I, who are political junkies and checking on Twitter all day, the average American learns to trust a specific figure or individual, your average person who works and has a family and has kids does not have time to go through and study every single policy issue. You know, what do I think of nuclear energy subsidies, right? What they do is they get a gist of somebody, this person shares my values, and I respect this person, and this person cares about me, I'll go wherever they go. And that's what you need to have a winning movement, in my view. And I think that's essentially marketing. So I mean, what what is your kind of marketing approach, say to that kind of strategy?

Brian Nichols  
I mean, at the end of the day, Brad, right, like it, there's no, there's no right or wrong answer in sales. It's a matter of what we can look back and effectively measure as being successful. And right now, what we can look and measure, as have been successful in politics has been to your point, it's the personas, right? Trump has taken the GOP and this is one of the big fears of Trump back in 2015. He is, I think, taking a lot of people ideologically speaking more towards this left wing nationalist populist approach to economics, right more or less a more of a Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders approach to economics than your traditional free market libertarian, that you would see back like a Rand Paul, openly, though, like folks like Josh Hawley, or Tucker Carlson talking about these economic policies through a very populist lens. And people are listening because at the end of the day, what moves people in this is whether it's moving people in the market for votes, or in the market for a product, right? It's whatever it is, somebody is seeing value in their action in either buying that product or casting their vote for that person. And again, who who has really inspired people from a libertarian perspective, in the greater Big L Libertarian Party? Honestly, like, I know, I think of it right. And that's part of the problem is that we're not having anybody who has that platform, right with the big L libertarian, next, their name to have anybody be like, oh, yeah, I can trust that person. Because the people they see are just people that in this is sad. They come across as just average people, right? Like, I'm an average person, I'm a sales executive, you know, like, that's to them. They'd be like, Okay, well, I can trust Brian to deliver awesome telecom and cybersecurity solutions, but like, Can I trust him to run a government? Right and like we need as a as libertarians and I'm now I'm focusing specifically on big ol libertarians. We got to start building up the bench. And I say that, you know, looking at, like what Cliff Maloney is doing, and saying, build the bench of people who we can then look to in the future and say, Oh, you're looking for somebody to run for Congress in this area. Well, guess what? We have a state rep who's a big L libertarian. has been there for 10 years, and they would be a great opportunity or a great option to replace said incumbent who's been there for 30 years. And now people would say, oh, yeah, you know, they've been in Senate for 10 years. Like, I know that person. I know, Senator Johnson like, Yeah, that guy. And that's what we need. We need to have somebody be like, Oh, yes, I know that person. I trust that person, whether it's for dog catcher for city councilors, city commissioner to Congress, Senate and president, right. We got to start having people that we can look to and say, Yeah, do you trust that person? Yeah. Okay. Well, you know, what they, they're libertarians. And that's why I think when we you were on the show, Brad, and we were discussing this in detail. We were discussing folks who are celebrities, that people for better for worse trust, right? That and that's kind of why Trump got the nod in 2015. People looked at him through the lens of we've known him since what the 80s. Really, I mean, 70s and 80s. And, you know, like, he was a rap lyric, you everybody wants to be like Trump, and you see that your average person through you know, whether it's knowing him through that reading The Art of the Deal, watching him on The Apprentice, they kind of knew Trump, and for better for worse, trusted him and what he was saying to them based on their thinking they know who he is, right. And that's why Bernie Sanders has the appeal. That's why Alexandria Ocasio Cortez gets hundreds of 1000s of people streaming on Twitch with her every single time she goes on, because people brilliant. Yeah. Because people think that she cares, right? And that's what people want in their politicians, somebody who trusts they can trust somebody who they think cares about them, and somebody who's going to go to bat for them, right people who are Trump supporters, and I'm probably generalizing here, but they genuinely look at Trump as somebody who cares about them. I'm not saying they're right or wrong. But that's usually the he's like He is that last wall defense to, to them that near the end of the United States or the end of society as we know it and they trust him to be that that voice and why are they trusting us? That's the question that libertarians that's the question that conservative Aryans conservatives need to be asking more frequently than not? Are our ideas, right? But why don't people trust us? We know we already got that part that we know where our ideas are, right? Like you put them into the battle place of the market, right? We're gonna win 10 times out of 10. But then you have to ask, Well, okay, why are people looking at that? And then still trusting us? Why aren't they taking the definitive and empirical data that we have before us? And saying, Yeah, that makes sense. Let's listen to these folks. That's a question we got to start being able to answer and I'm challenging libertarians to get out of our own our own heads and what we think the answer is, and actually start to ask people, you know, genuine questions, figure out what's, what's their their issue, build that trust, and then we can actually see some real change. Thanks for listening to The Brian Nichols Show. Find more episodes at the Brian Nichols show.com. Enjoying the audio version of the show, then you'll love our YouTube channel, be sure to head over there and subscribe. If you're new to The Brian Nichols Show, be sure to head to your favorite podcast catcher and click download all unplayed episodes so you don't miss one of our nearly 500 episodes that will be sure to leave you educated, enlightened and informed. If you got value from today's episode. Can you do me a favor and head to the Brian Nichols show.com forward slash support and leave us a $5 donation and by the way, have you given the show a five star review yet? If not, head to Apple podcasts and tell folks why you listen to the program and don't forget to tell your friends to subscribe to follow me on social media at be Nichols liberty, and again, if you'd be so kind please consider making a donation to The Brian Nichols Show at the Brian Nichols show.com forward slash support. The Brian Nichols Show is supported by viewers like you. Thank you to our patrons Darryl Schmitz, Michael Lima, Michel Mankiewicz, Cody John's Trent Acosta and the we're libertarians network. Faced with an uncertain future many business owners and technology professionals don't have time needed to invest in their business technology strategies and as a result are afraid of their technology getting outdated and putting their company and customers information at risk. 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