What does it take to be a politician?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by TSE, Nov 5, 2008.

  1. TSE macrumors 68030

    Jun 25, 2007
    St. Paul, Minnesota
    Hi everybody. I am 15 years old and politics is one of my hobbies. Even without the presidential election going on, I will pay attention to politics. The more and more I am getting closer to college, the more and more I want to become a politician. I was just wondering what it takes to become a successful politician for the future. I was actually considering joining the Navy or Air Force after college for awhile, then after experience of the military and leadership skills become a politician.

    My political influences (I don't agree with all of these guys, I just study how they became successful):

    -Ron Paul
    -Ronald Reagan
    -John McCain (His concession speech has been the best speech I have ever seen)
    -Count Otto von Bismarck
    -Vladimir Putin
  2. dmr727 macrumors G3


    Dec 29, 2007
  3. CalPoly10 macrumors regular

    Sep 5, 2006
    Honestly, this is a question you shouldn't be asking people.

    You need to have a determined life, be very social, make money, have friends, good track record.

    You can't study the ways to be a politician. Just live a great life.
  4. angelneo macrumors 68000

    Jun 13, 2004
    You need to be great with people. Personally, i think it's not just a matter of how good you are, it's how good are the people you work with.
  5. Henri Gaudier macrumors 6502a

    Henri Gaudier

    May 4, 2005
    I know you're young but this is a really naive question and one that cannot be answered. To succeed in America ... yeah join the army that will help you to say yes to the arms manufacturers in later life to start a new war.;)

    Seriously though ... forget about it for now. Live and if later you still feel the same, pursue it. I'd say lose all your money, get your heart broke, work a sh*t job. If after 10 years of that, and more, you have compassion ... go for it.

    Your idols are tyrannical madmen and so, personally, I'd like you to stay out of politics for good!
  6. mufflon macrumors 6502

    Sep 15, 2006
    Best way is mostly being able to be vocal about your views, stick to them and most of all, find some kind of cause - you don't have to have an oppinion about everything, but you ned some kind of reason for being there - atleast to yourself... ... power is not the answer to that question.
  7. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Oct 9, 2006
    Be a power hunger, heartless souless slime ball, care only about one self. Be unfit to lead.
    Be willing to sell your soul along with any one who gets in your way to get the power and then hold on to it.

    Have no problem lying and not keeping promises. Hell be willing to make false promises.
  8. Fuzzy14 macrumors 65816


    Nov 19, 2006
    Renfrew, Scotland
  9. és: macrumors 6502a


    If you listen really carefully you can hear MLK and Winston Churchill turning in their graves.
  10. blackfox macrumors 65816


    Feb 18, 2003
    I think the path to becoming a politician is as different as the individual.

    As far as I know (and I am certainly no expert), you have to want to better things and you have to start small.

    Being your age, I would start with Student Government - and perhaps debate. Learn about communication skills and winning arguments. Learn about presentation and perception and the shallowness of some popularity-based decision-making.

    Mostly, see if you are any good at the skills that those positions demand, and whether you have the stamina and conviction to run the gauntlet of acheiving them.

    As I understand it, politics is mostly an art of compromise - which is an ethical pitfall, if ever there was one. See how you do when the stakes are small - and reflect on your motivations.

    You can continue learning in College government, and if you want to make a career of it still, then I guess you'll have to learn to network on a whole other level and deal with fundraising.

    How to negotiate that is something I couldn't say - but money is an evermore -present aspect to Political life to a point where it may eclipse everything else. Perhaps there will be an eventual readjustment. I guess one can hope.

    As for your influences, their contexts vary their relevance to you (except as a learning tool).

    Good luck.
  11. it5five macrumors 65816


    May 31, 2006
    New York
    throw in some money and you're all set.
  12. rdowns macrumors Penryn


    Jul 11, 2003
    Probably the only concession speech you've ever seen.
  13. Tosser macrumors 68030

    Jan 15, 2008

    I was hoping for a thread akin to "How many xxx does it take to change a lightbulb" :eek:
  14. TSE thread starter macrumors 68030

    Jun 25, 2007
    St. Paul, Minnesota
    Nope. I have seen Al Gore's, John Kerry's, and Bob Dohl's, all of them were horribly done and were made to take one last jab at their opponent which I find pathetic. Thanks for helping with providing so much information though.
  15. Fuzzy14 macrumors 65816


    Nov 19, 2006
    Renfrew, Scotland
    Well, you can't really blame Gore, he did win the election and still had to conceed...
  16. és: macrumors 6502a


    You said it was the best speech that you'd ever seen (sic), which either means that you're crazy bonkers or it means that you've not heard that many speeches.

    I can recommend some for you, if you're interested.
  17. MacDawg macrumors Core


    Mar 20, 2004
    "Between the Hedges"
    Thanks for taking the OP seriously and offering some good advice. He may be young, but in my opinion his sincerity should be rewarded in kind.

    My advice... don't get your advice from the PRSI ;)

    Take advantage of leadership opportunities
    Hone your people skills and your speaking skills
    Gain real world experience... you mention the military, but don't exclude business too

    Most of all learn the issues... research them and don't take the word of others

    You have the opportunity now to avoid all the baggage most politicians have in their past. Weigh your decisions in light of how it may come back to haunt you later in life.

    Be honest and true to your ideals

    Woof, Woof – Dawg [​IMG]
  18. Queso macrumors G4

    Mar 4, 2006
    I spent a lot of time playing the Westminster Game during my 20s, dealing with lobbyists, politicians and civil servants. I would say that to become a politician you firstly need to develop an absolute 100% belief in your beliefs, then also ensure that the first thought that runs through your head when presented with new information is How Could This Make Me Look?

    The rest will fall into place naturally.
    Follow this and stay at local politics level. National politics does not go well with the above advice, sadly.
  19. .Andy macrumors 68030


    Jul 18, 2004
    The Mergui Archipelago
    Buy and watch this. Seriously it's funny and will give you a lot more palatable info on politics than just about any other source.
  20. CalBoy macrumors 604


    May 21, 2007
    I must admit OP, that you're asking a very interesting yet unorthodox question.

    A generic answer many give to this question is, "go to a good school and then be a lawyer." Now of course you don't have to be a lawyer to be a successful politician (just ask Reagan), but being a lawyer definitely develops skills that are useful in politics, and generally makes people better debaters.

    Now, here's something of an unorthodox answer to your unorthodox question: Monopoly. By that I mean the board game of course! :p

    No, seriously. Monopoly is a predominantly political game, and if your interpersonal skills, sense of strategy, and observation skills are good, you will win every game of monopoly regardless of how the dice are cast.
  21. rdowns macrumors Penryn


    Jul 11, 2003
    I'm not trying to discourage your interest in politics. That said, seeing a concession speech on YouTube or wherever is quite different than seeing it and having experienced the campaign as well as the mood of the country at the time of the particular election.
  22. 63dot macrumors 603


    Jun 12, 2006
    Way back, it was usually a person who was white, rich, AND owned land.

    Later on, it was somebody who usually had a law degree (historically the ll.B for most US Presidents, candidates, and high elected and appointed officials), or a graduate history/policy degree (Gingrich, McKinney, Rice), or a graduate business degree (Bush, Powell).

    But today, any politician or candidate can come from any field such as entertainer (Reagan, Sonny Bono, Jerry Springer, Al Franken, Jesse Ventura), medical doctor (Howard Dean), ministers (Mike Huckabee) and even a high school graduate (Harry Truman). And don't forget a mayor of a very small town as she is MOST famous for (Palin).

    This is America and nobody is off limits when it comes to running and even winning and holding office.
  23. TSE thread starter macrumors 68030

    Jun 25, 2007
    St. Paul, Minnesota
    Thanks all for your help guys. And whoever said if I was interested in seeing some good speeches, yes I am interested.

    I got an A in my speech class last year, if that counts. :)
  24. és: macrumors 6502a


    I'll start with the classics.

    1. John Fitzgerald Kennedy Inaugural Address, Washington - Jan. 20th 1961.


    2. Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, We shall fight, House of Commons - Jun. 4th 1940.


    3. Martin Luther King, Jr., I Have A Dream, Wasington - Aug. 28th 1963.


    That's three to be getting on with, i'll post some more when I have a little more time.
  25. itcheroni macrumors 6502a

    Sep 23, 2005
    Speech and debate is useful but what it really comes down to is getting people to do what you want. To get your start, you'd need to convince a very powerful politician to help you.


    The Art of War, The Prince, and How to Win Friends and Influence People.

    Any books on body language.

    The Game by Neil Strauss (this is a book on picking up women, but it is as applicable to politics)

    Watch The Godfather and The Sopranos and pay attention to the leadership themes.

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