Populist Politicians

Patrick Henry
Citizen Kane
Clay Davis
Donald Trump

Open Challenge to All Politicians

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The images above are spiritual portraits, or Grojas[1] — images representing the personalities of Patrick Henry, Charles Foster Kane, Clay Davis, and Donald Trump.

The Superficialities

Patrick Henry was one of America's Founding Fathers, the First and Sixth Governor of Virginia, and a close friend of George Washington. Charles Foster Kane is the fictional protagonist of the film Citizen Kane, 1941. Clay Davis is a fictional politician in David Simon’s television series The Wire, 2002-2008. And Donald Trump is the 45th President of the United States.

All four are American and involved in politics to some degree. Clay Davis is African-American, and Patrick Henry and Donald Trump are red-heads — but Henry frequently wore a brown wig. Charles Foster Kane was created and played by Orson Welles.

Henry and Trump are real people, Kane and Clay exist only in works of fiction — but their characters are based on real people.[2] Henry lived in the eighteenth century, Kane was the product of the twentieth century, and Clay and Trump are contemporary.

Despite these superficial differences, the spiritual portraits of all four have a similar look and feel. Anyone familiar with one or more of them already has a sense of what the others are like.

Passionate Candidates

These spiritual portraits show Henry, Kane, Davis, and Trump are outgoing, passionate, decisive, and realistic. They understand people and do not hesitate to tell them what they feel — and what they believe othes want to hear.

The Red in these images represents their passion, which is the most prominent of these qualities. The Yellow, representing their realism, is less prominent but adds to the portraits' warmth. The Green in Henry's and Trump's portraits show these real people are a bit more decisive and logical than the fictional Kane and Clay.

These outgoing people have so much passion, they enjoy sharing it with — or inflicting it on, as some would say — their constituents. Their willingness to be blunt when so many others are relatively reserved contributes to their charisma.

Passionate Constituents

As outgoing and decisive people, Henry, Kane, Clay, and Trump are far from being shy, retiring, and contemplative. They relish being the center of attention, their speeches are full of passion, and their temperaments can be volatile.

Because they frequently appeal to emotion rather than logic, their proposals for reform are met with mixed sentiments. This also makes it natural for them to elicit emotional reactions from their supporters and detractors alike.

The passion people feel for these politicians is aptly summed up in the proclamation of the newsreel announcer who introduces Charles Foster Kane to viewers early on in Citizen Kane: Spoke for millions of Americans. Was hated by as many more.

Pragmatic Politicians

The Yellow in these portraits indicate Henry, Kane, Davis, and Trump have a tendency to be realistic and pragmatic.

Realistic About Future Leaders

Patrick Henry's opposition to ratifying the Constitution and insistence on a Bill of Rights is a good example of his pragmatism.

Patrick was concerned the work of the extremely logical Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and the rest of the Constitutional Convention would negate everything they had fought for during the Revolution, and bring a monarchical system of government to the newly liberated and still loosely constructed nation.

Alexander Hamilton
Patrick Henry
If your American chief be a man of ambition and abilities, Henry warned, how easy is it for him to render himself absolute! The army is in his hands .... If he ever violates the laws ... his crimes [will] teach him to make one bold push for the American throne .... What will then become of you and your rights? Will not absolute despotism ensue?[3]

The Virginia convention eventually voted to ratify the new Constitution, despite Henry's protestations. However, his concerns paved the way for the passage of the Bill of Rights the following year, in 1789.

Realistic About Principles

Charles Foster Kane's pragmatism becomes evident when he writes a Declaration of Principles.

The name of Kane's document may be patterned after Thomas Jefferson's Declaration of Independence, but it is not nearly as high-minded as it sounds. It turns out there are only two statements in Kane’s Declaration, and both start with the personal pronoun I.

As Kane’s oldest friend Jedidiah Leland points out, Kane never believed in anything except Charles Kane.

Wealthy Candidates

Another common thread running through the lives of Patrick Henry, Charles Foster Kane, Clay Davis, and Donald Trump is wealth.

Patrick Henry grew up in one of Hanover County's finest houses.[4] Charles Foster Kane and Donald Trump inherited massive amounts of money. And Clay Davis' character first appears in The Wire when his driver picks up a bagful of drug money from the Barksdale organanization.

Whether their wealth is ultimately due to their charismatic appeal, or they feel free to fully express themselves because they are wealthy, is hard to say. Certainly inheriting wealth can help immunize someone to the ill effects of their mistakes.

That is, unlike most people, those who are born into wealth are insulated from a reality that can be cold and harsh — and are free do do what ever they feel like doing.

Atypical Candidates

This section features spiritual portraits of several American presidents. Far from being a complete list, these are just some of the more well-known holders of America's top office.

There is a lot of information in these images!

It took months to create these images — to research and analyze the people, and to produce, post and explain these portraits — so it may take some time and effort to understand them.

Other Presidents

These images show different the personalities of Patrick Henry, Charles Foster Kane, Clay Davis, and Donald Trump are from these other leaders, who are more typical — or at least more well-known.

Patrick Henry
George Washington
John Adams
Thomas Jefferson

Specifically, the presence of more Red than Green in the spiritual portraits of Henry and Trump represents their tendency to favor emotion over logic.

It may be difficult for people new to looking at spiritual portraits to see this difference, so look closely and keep an open mind. Out of all of these images, only Patrick Henry's and Donald Trump's show they are ruled by their emotions.

Lawyers Are Logical

Many politicians start out as lawyers. This makes perfect sense because governments make and enforce laws. It's natural for someone to take time to understand and debate the intent and fairness of laws before writing new ones.

Understanding the law requires understanding logic. It's if someone commits a crime, then they are guilty, not so-and-so is guilty because I feel like  they are guilty.

Logic is universal, so people are more likely to understand and agree with a logical decision than an emotional one.

Theodore Roosevelt
Woodrow Wilson
Franklin Roosevelt
John F. Kennedy
Emotions Are Powerful

Once a lawyer understands the logic behind the law, a versatile person could add some emotional appeal to an argument when, for example, adressing a jury. A lawyer's emotional appeal needs to be secondary and in addition to understanding the logic of the law.

If a barrister prefers being emotional to being logical, they need to know how to let the logic take precedence in their professional work. This is precisely what Patrick Henry did when he was starting out as a lawyer.

Then, as Henry got older and more experienced, he went from powerfully advocating for his clients to powerfully advocating for individual liberty — ultimately famously declaring Give me liberty, or give me death, in a thunderous speech in Richmond, Virginia.

Lyndon B. Johnson
Ronald Reagan
Bill Clinton
Donald Trump
Atypical Officeholders?

Although logical people have an advantage over more emotional people when it comes to running for office, Patrick Henry, Clay Davis, and Donald Trump prove that emotional people can get elected anyway.

One could assert that people with outgoing personalities have a better shot at getting elected, because the press is constantly bombarding candidates and politicians with questions. After all, if you snooze, you lose.

The images above of popular politicians' personalities show plenty of these people — notably Jefferson, Wilson, and Kennedy — are more reticent than most. Sure, Kennedy whupped Nixon in the nation's first televised presidential debate, but that is probably more the result of superficial appearances — the youthful Kennedy was much better looking than the stodgy Nixon — than the substance of the candidates' personalities.

Could it be that the twenty-four hour news cycle makes it easier now for people who are more emotional and more difficult for people who are more withdrawn? That theory might make intuitive sense, but proving it is problematic.

My Favorite Presidents

My favorite presidents are the ones who are more idealistic — the ones with more Blue in their spiritual portraits. In the group above that includes: Adams, Jefferson, Wilson, Kennedy, Reagan, and Clinton. There's no doubt in my mind this is because I am also idealistic — as you can see from the Blue in my own spiritual portraits.

But this is not the whole story: I like Washington and FDR, and their personalities are almost the opposite of mine. But then again, if I had to choose between Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson, I'd pick the more reticent, academic WW over the reckless, in-your-face TR any day.

Enough History, What About Today?

Today it's clear emotional candidates either appeal to other emotional people, or they can bring other's emotions to the surface — or both. Does everyone prefer the candidates who have personalities more similar to their own?

I believe personality is just one of many factors — but that it is far more important than the superficial factors many people insist on focusing on.

Today it's clear partisan thinking is creating deep wounds in our country's fabric. I would like nothing more than to shift the discussion away from superficial partisanship to looking — quite literally — past the surface.

I have spent years working on making the invisible visible, I would like nothing more than for politicians and candidates to let me draw their personalities, so all voters know who's running the show and what we're getting into if we elect a replacement.

Challenging All Politicians and Candidates

Citizens shouldn't have to guess what a candidate's personality is really like.

I believe a candidate's personal preferences, as identified by answering a questionnaire designed to assess Jungian personality types, are more important than what political party they belong to.

I challenge all politicians to answer one of the Jungian questionnaires and send me the results, so I can draw your image.

I will create your spiritual portrait and share it with you and post it online — with your statement, if possible.

 Free Portraits for Politicians! 

Wouldn't it be nice if someone disrupted the two-party system, by making invisible qualities visible?

See More at SeeOurMinds.com

To see full-size images of the personalities of all the people on this page — and many, many more — visit the list of politicians' gallery pages at SeeOurMinds.com.


This portrait is based on:

And — of course — Donald Trump's well-known public persona.

I highly recommend the book, the film, and the television series to everyone!

Tom W. Hartung

  • 1  A spiritual portrait or Groja — for Graphical Representation of Jungian Archetypes — is an image representing the personality of a person. These images use four primary colors in rectangular shapes to depict the core personality functions Carl Jung identified in his writings about psychological types in the early 1920s. Find essential information about these images on the About page at Groja.com.

  • 2  Charles Foster Kane is loosely based on George Hearst, a media mogul associated with yellow journalism.
    Clay Davis is based on one or more politicians in Maryland's State Senate.

  • 3  Jon Kukla, Patrick Henry, Champion of Liberty (Simon & Schuster, 2017), p. 329.

  • 4  Jon Kukla, Patrick Henry, Champion of Liberty, p. 9.