Ann Romney tells the story about helping her reluctant husband decide to enter the presidential election, saying, “Mitt, can you save this country?” To which, he apparently could only reply, “Yes”. And so on primary day in New Hampshire, we wait for the polls to affirm the first win of what seems an inevitable sweep to the GOP nomination. Wow, what a powerful call to action!
I am a big proponent of using stories and narratives in communications. I am told that the power of stories lies in the brain entrainment that occurs when we listen to others…our very brain waves sync. I love that feeling! It’s powerful because it is connecting and that is what good communication is in my book.
When the story is also wrapped in the guise of a hero myth – it gets even more powerful. 1) Accept the call to enter a strange world (Politics), 2) Undergo trials and tribulations (debates, crack candidates, complete media exposure) and 3) Return with knowledge and power to change or heal the world (become President of the most powerful nation in the world). We have entered the realm of self-myth making.
To support Mitt Romney, to me, means supporting this notion that our country must be saved, that there is great danger afoot that nothing short of individual heroism will resolve. It inspires fright, while implying comfort. If I don’t vote for Mitt, who will save us? I hate scare tactics. Sadly, I understand that running a successful candidacy requires strategies and positions that often have nothing to do with leading our country during fraught and difficult times. Words matter. Stories matter. Be careful what you wish for.