Politics is a games of the masses by the masses. Mass are not trained equally. They come untrained to this world and based on their training they become obedient, rebel, religious et al. Our understanding of the world is much like the man who tries to “figure” an elephants by it’s parts. We all end up with our own interpretation of the truth. They themselves are only concerned about the limited problem “they” face.
A politician should see the big picture. A politician might see an agenda however the masses, may miss it completely. Thus it is very important to abstract the problem into digestible chunks to the masses. This matter is very crucial in politics, because, unlike any other professions, politics, touches the lives of every individual directly or indirectly. Politics to people, is what money is to an economy. You need to understand “money” at is most core to live in any modern society.
Likewise picking up the wrong issues, in politics, could mean the difference between a successful campaign and a failed one. Let’s take the example of Donald Trump. His campaign of “lets make America Great again” is an over simplified version of the aspirations of several sections of society. You want jobs, make America great again, do you want respect, make America great again, do you want higher standards of living, Make America great again. It is like money, people understand it. This campaign was very similar to the Obama campaign of “Yes we can”.
India also had an election campaign by the BJP party, which spoke about “Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas” loosely translated to “Everyone together, everyone Grows”. Second time around the campaign the motto was “Modi hai to Mumkin hai” which means “If Modi is there it is possible”. The mottos were simple, positive and gave an assurance of “Can do” attitude. Unlike, this the opposition was in a disarray. Their prime campaign was around “Rafale Aircraft” (an alleged inter governmental kick back scam) which which nobody identified with because it didn’t matter to anyone. Inter governmental scams are not of any relevance to the common Public. If the campaign would have been around “jobs” then, the matter would have been different. But the opposition failed to convert larger issues into smaller “digestible” bites.
Same is the case with computers. The computer industry was largely operating in an esoteric space until they started connecting with the plebeians. Web world connected millions to the computer world but it wasn’t until the advent of mobile phone with touch screen that the real “proselytisation” took place. Touch screen enabled even the most untrained individual ie a child, to operate a phone. It made the task of engagement so democratic by allowing the least common denominator “a child” ,that usage of smart phone became ubiquitous. The same was the case with previous technological advances too. The “car” revolution only took off when Henry ford made the “Model T” a cheap and simple to use car. Cheap and simplicity are the bedrock of mass market.
The exact opposite is true with you want to “disengage” with the masses, remove a couple of layers of abstraction and make it expensive and the product becomes “exclusive”. A “Mercedes-Benz” wants to remain exclusive because its clientele are rich. Harvard wants to remain exclusive because thats where its clientele is. These companies make millions of dollars out of their respective markets. Amazon on the other had is “inclusive” so they went for cheap and simple to use. Tesla will remain “exclusive” until it makes cheap cars which are “dead simple to use”. Thus so far they have only been able to figure one part out.
BACK TO POLITICS
Politics is a “mass market” phenomenon so you need to sell it “simple”. In politics it is always the case of simplify, simplify and simplify. Good politician know this art very well. They win election on a simple campaign, rather than bundling together several agenda. People don’t understand economics and growth. People, however, do understand food, sex and corruption. Thus framing the problem is very important.
Next time you see a politician speaking, observe which one of them is “contextualising” the problem to the most common denominator , and presenting it a “one liner”. If someone is doing that then you can be rest assured that you have picked a WINNER in him/her !