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Motives to Vote - The Motive Center
November 2nd, 2004
11:38 pm


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Motives to Vote
Odd that this Devo song was playing when I opened this...I voted today. No matter who wins, I'll be analyzing their Inaugural Address to see what their motives are. David Winter at the University of Michigan does this every four years, and he predicts what will happen as a result. (I mentioned him in an earlier post.)

Achievement motivated presidents tend to micromanage (like Carter) switch opinions as situations change (like Nixon on China), and get into trouble for more, um, efficient fundraising practices.

Affiliation motivated presidents tend to appoint their friends and defend them when they get into scandals--as they often do. (Grant, Ford, Reagan's second administration)

Power motivated presidents are seen as better leaders by historians...and they get us into wars. (FDR, Eisenhower, JFK, Reagan, Clinton, Bush II). They also tend to grow out of grassroots movements, because they'd rather get a dollar from ten million people and know they've touched that many people than get a million dollars from ten people (like Achievement-motivated presidents).

Why the Inaugural Address? Because it is the touchstone for an administration. It is more likely to say exactly what the president-elect wants it to say, regardless of who wrote the actual words. JFK's Inaugural Address is in the Kennedy Museum here in Boston, and there are handwritten notes from JFK on a draft, and almost every one adds more Influence imagery. There's a reason why his speech still fires people up after forty years.

I'll close with two quotations from Winston Churchill, who certainly had some conflicts with the democratic process:

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts."    
"It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried."

Current Music: Freedom Of Choice

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