This World Affairs 2023 special issue contains six contributions, including this one, exploring some of the key political consequences of traditional beliefs such as magic and superstition in the developing societies of the Global South as well as in certain industrially advanced societies of the Global North. To show why traditional beliefs matter, we provide an explanation in this introduction for why traditional beliefs exist in developing countries, why they survive in developed countries, and why they may become more popular over time. By utilizing a simple game theoretic approach, we explain why rational people can sometimes increase their payoffs by subscribing to a superstition while superstitious people never gain by switching to rationality. In fact, the superstition—which has no causal connection with the natural course of events—may even yield better results, not only for the individual but also for the group. This is the reason why, in the framework of evolutionary stable equilibrium, superstitious people can demographically dominate an entire population over time. In addition to explaining the existence and the persistence (or the popularity) of traditional beliefs, we highlight the key findings presented in the articles included in this special issue. All of them underline a cardinal point: traditional beliefs matter. They shape electoral behavior, they shape attitudes toward democratic governance, and they influence voters’ assessment of political figures and historical events. Precisely because traditional beliefs have such extensive implications for a country's political life, we believe that in the future scholars will have to pay greater attention to such beliefs to have a better understanding of political phenomena and trends.