"Men are not led by being told what they do not know. Persuasion is a force, but not information; and persuasion is accomplished by creeping into the confidence of those you would lead. Their confidence is not gained by preaching new thoughts to them. It is gained by qualities which they can recognize at first sight by arguments which they can assimilate at once: by the things which find easy and intermediate entrance into their minds, and which are easily transmitted to the palms of their hands or to the ends of their walking-sticks in the shape of applause."
- Woodrow Wilson - Leaders of Men - June 17, 1890
I've been reading a bit of Wilson and other "progressive" era stuff lately, and I think Obama would see much to admire in Wilson and so many of the socialists and fascists of that era. "Persuasion is a force, but not information." That is the damn truth, isn't it?