But to get someone to act, first you almost always have to ask -- and their answer determines whether or not you've succeeded. Therein lies the complexity -- how, when and what do we ask of people to help them realize their true political potential?
Mitt Romney's next major campaign move, selecting his Vice Presidential nominee, might decide what looks to be a very close general election. If you don't believe me, look no further than Sarah Palin in 2008.
I was in Bill Clinton's cabinet. I was in charge of Clinton's economic transition team even before he became president. I've known Bill Clinton since he was 22 years old. Romney doesn't know what he's talking about.
These real-life Charles Foster Kanes have conquered the business world, crushed enemies in their wake and accumulated wealth to rival that of the pharaohs. But love remains elusive for them, no matter how many zeroes in their Cayman Islands offshore holding account.
A humbler Romney would have acknowledged his role in the abuse, indicated his regret, and apologized to the victim in a meaningful way. Most Americans would buy that. Who hasn't done stuff as a teenager that they later wish they hadn't?
Demographics and politics are creating a new America, different from any of the Americas we have ever known or studied in the past. With the "blue-ing" and " purple-ing" of America, the elephant may soon become a dinosaur.