Putting emotional consent to the test



In the field of international politics, the last decade has seen even more respect paid to the past establishment of leaders able to gain consent by impressing their electorate on a purely emotional level. Voters often have been led by their instinct rather than by their rationality: just think about Barack Obama’s 2008 election, where the content of his political program was always flanked by a remarkably effective, purely emotional campaign filled with hope. An intuition that probably won him the presidency.

Indeed, this doesn’t apply only to the US, it’s more of a global phenomenon. Using a plain language approach, promoting a more homely, familiar appearance – Italians would call it “far from the Palace” – are all strategies adopted by many recently-elected global leaders. Emotional politics however is a double-edge sword: it can be used by both the politician looking for consensus in order to win the elections – if used effectively, it’s just like taking a shortcut to victory – and the people who want to send him home. And again, the example of Barack Obama is particularly relevant: from Commander in Chief to the second mandate, he can boast the successful fulfilment of his leading role, just think for a second about the epoch-making Obamacare health care reform, the exit from the crisis that since 2007 was ravaging the country, the final curtain dropped on 9/11 and Osama Bin Laden.

A survey carried out by Gallup in the US, however, has revealed that Americans think he’s the worst White House resident ever. Despite the successful completion of projects and plans, it seems that facts speak louder than words: his opponents have managed to touch the electorate on an emotional level more than his achievements did.