Breaking News #4: From Ross Perot to RFK Jr – The Evolving Narratives of Political Entrepreneurs

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Join Ben Hunt, Matt Zeigler and Jack Forehand as we break open the news to reveal the Nudging language behind the headlines. Media bias is real, but not in the way you think.

In this episode, we take a deep dive into the tactics and tools used by upstart political entrepreneurs. Our political system is setup to heavily favor incumbents and candidates that are part of the political establishment. This presents an exceptionally difficult challenge for candidates who come from outside of that system. But social media and technology have given upstart candidates more tools at their disposal than they have ever had in history. And they are using them to both gain our votes and influence our opinions. We discuss how they do that and how all of us can maintain Clear Eyes and Full Hearts in the midst of their influence.

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  1. Avatar for Tanya Tanya says:

    Such a great episode! Loved the “Better vs. Different” concept, it perfectly articulated something I’ve seen play out many times. And @MZeigler3’s ability to so succinctly summarize the episodes on the fly(!!) is stunning.

  2. Avatar for robh robh says:

    @bhunt could you elaborate on the point you made in the podcasts that centrists can’t win a presidential election anymore. I understand that they can’t win a nomination as a centrist but why not the general?

  3. My wife and I listened to the podcast as we’re driving cross country on a road trip (next up-MOGCOM!). The better vs. different message struck home with me, and she was most taken by the examples which showed the bimodal nature required to get ahead in our current widening gyre ie. extreme positions needed to get the nomination and then the move to the center……except for tRump, who saw things differently and succeeded by doubling down with his base.
    Keep them coming. Am particularly interested in how some people I know like RFK Jr, whereas my prior appreciation of his environmental efforts have soured with his more recent foray into the medical field. .

  4. I found myself looking forward to the episode’s release early in the week and am enjoying the regularity of a nice dose of ET in this format, kudos to you guys.

    I could express many mirror engagements but those are not very fun.

    The paradox I wrote about in an earlier comment continues to be on my mind. I think the word ‘entrepreneur’ has a largely positive connotation in our world. It must be possible to be a ‘political entrepreneur’ and not have that be implicitly a bad thing…? Yet (at least on this side of my instance of the living metaverse) the ET discussion of political entrepreneurs seems explicitly negative, as if it is only possible to do so by deceiving people. I can understand such a frame given the current state of affairs, where the widening gyre won’t permit anything positive to emerge from such processes. But it must be possible, otherwise there is no hope, at least on this side of a turning. How would we recognize a ‘good’ political entrepreneur? Or in the present turning is it hopeless and thus not worthwhile to be looking?

    Somewhat relatedly, I commented on prior article about the ‘well-spoken’ point. But I thought it was slightly strawmanned in this episode. I thought the discussion was mostly centered on the idea that people are deceived by PEs by virtue of them being well-spoken. While obviously this can be true, for me the point on being well-spoken is that it is a meta-signal in the absence of any other signal. And currently there is an utter absence; everything from the mouths of politicians and institutions is noise. So being well-spoken, regardless of the intent, becomes all the signal there is.

  5. this idea, of interests that stack vs. compete - very interesting @RobMann

  6. and like Rory Sutherland would say, “A weed is just a flower with a marketing budget.”

    Perception sure does make this all even more interesting. Making some notes for some good/bad PE questions (and perhaps) examples. Great job framing this @rechraum

  7. Avatar for bhunt bhunt says:

    As the two ‘humps’ in the bimodal distribution of red and blue tribe election preferences get taller and farther apart, the middle of the combined distribution loses its peak and actually becomes a trough. Depending on party discipline, a ‘more centrist’ blue candidate can win a general election from a ‘less centrist’ red candidate (or vice versa), but the entire impetus of ‘moving to the center’ (because that’s where the votes are!) is lost as the bimodality gets more pronounced.

  8. Avatar for bhunt bhunt says:

    Fair point! But a signal of what other than ‘not a mainstream politician’?

  9. Avatar for robh robh says:

    I get it— A “centrist” R and a “centrist” D don’t resemble each other anymore so there is no point in appealing to a group that no longer exists.

  10. That’s depressing. Not saying it’s wrong, just……depressing if true. It removes an element of hope

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