Negative Political Campaigns Equal Bad Dog Training
Misleading, political attacks make me mad. And, I finally know why. Smearing an opponent with lies and misinformation is the equivalent of punishment-based dog training. Except in this case, the American public fills the role of abused dog.
Overly negative candidates who use personal attacks get their power from intimidation and fear — instead of teamwork. This Alpha-roll, pin-them-down attitude keeps voters worried and pliant, which is a perfect state if all you care about is the status quo or getting what you want … no matter what.
Like an electric shock to a dog’s neck or an unexpected jerk of the collar delivered at a handler’s misguided whim, negative campaigns subject voters to wrath completely disconnected from reality, action, or truth.
It’s as if it comes from another space and time.
And, frankly, it’s a crappy thing to do.
The problem is this: Sometimes it works. Such efforts either cow us into submission or make us more aggressive, more fearful.
There has been a lot of talk about pitbulls in this presidential election, which frankly is unfair to all the bully breeds (many of whom I know and love).
But, allow me this visual —
Next time you see a grumbling, fearful campaign crowd picture instead fighting dogs baited into a frenzy. Next time you feel sick in your stomach after seeing a negative ad, imagine the candidate who “approved this message” is hanging you and other voters on the end of a choke chain to show you who’s boss.
Me? I’d rather have clicks and treats … and the hope and teamwork that comes with them.