It is rare nowadays in American politics to hear the pros & cons of current issues discussed in a respectful way. Instead, the focus is on making voters hate the opponent. They must be portrayed as evil, racist, sexist, homophobic, greedy, controlled by special interests, unpatriotic, or whatever makes it easiest to get elected. The weapon of choice is CHARACTER ASSASSINATION. Both major parties engage in it, usually with the help of rich donors and front groups that pose as media watchdogs, fact checkers, think tanks, charities, public relations firms, and other innocent sounding names. They use the billions of political donations to comb through every shred of your past for any perceived mistake. Like-minded allies in the media and on the web echo stories thousands of times. It’s all used in coordinated campaigns to create an image or caricature of a person.
The list below shows 20 different ways the media and political enemies can destroy a person. Politicians and celebrities create several times the information since they’ve been in the public eye. Who among us could survive a coordinated character assassination if enemies could cherry pick real or distorted pieces of information from all the following sources?
- Facebook posts, likes, and shares
- Twitter tweets, likes, and re-tweets
- LinkedIn, Snapchat, Instagram, Pinterest, MySpace and other social media
- Letters and memos
- Public debates and interviews
- Audio recordings (authorized and unauthorized)
- Video recordings (authorized and unauthorized)
- Pictures (authorized and unauthorized)
- School reports, term papers, thesēs, and other assignments
- Business associations (past customers, suppliers, investors, employees, etc.)
- Tax returns and financial statements
- Political donor lists
- Political voting records
- Fake internet stories, memes, and reports based on “anonymous sources”
- Interviews with relatives, ex’s, co-workers, and other past acquaintances
- Google and Bing search history
Think back to your own history. Are all these sources of information squeaky clean? Have you ever spoken a word, even while drunk or joking, that could be interpreted as racist, sexist, homophobic, etc.? Have you ever said or done anything you completely regret when you were younger? What makes the character assassination especially bad is that information can be taken out of context or be completely made up, and once it’s echoed enough on the web and cable news, it becomes “fact” in the minds of many Americans. When truth and fake news are intermingled, you don’t know what to believe. If you favor one candidate over the other, you believe what you want to believe and ignore what you don’t want to believe. You seek out media sources that confirm your existing biases.
The political & media attacks not only create division and hate, they prevent potentially great candidates from even running from office. We Americans need to start rejecting the character attacks and focusing on the pros & cons of real issues. Realize politicians are often completely different from the way they’re portrayed. And it’s time to turn off and ignore the media sources that perpetuate the character assassination.
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Written by: Joe Messerli
Last Modified: 8/28/2018