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Attack the person

 

Disciplines > PoliticsMessages > Attack the person

Description | Discussion | See also

 

Description

Analyse the arguments of your opponents to identify weaknesses in their ability to make sound decisions. Look for fallacies and other logical errors. Seek for situations where they have not understood local issues and then hit them with derisory comments about their lack of intellectual ability.

Dig into the person's background to unearth skeletons such as corruption, drug-taking and callousness. Expose them as immoral and uncaring. Take the high ground and show yourself as pious and considerate.

Look for other routes to attack them. If they are younger, they may be shown as inexperienced. If they are older, they may be framed as out of touch. If they are experience, frame them as political animals.

Develop arguments and memorable sound-bites and slogans that weaken them. Hammer home these points again and again. Make them objects of contempt and ridicule. Show them to be unworthy of office.

Also seek ways to ensure you do not tarred with the same brush. Frame your expos? as being in the interests of voters and society at large. Express sorrow that such as person would stand for office. Show yourself in contrast as being the much better choice. One way that you can avoid conflict is to leak information to the press or have one of your supporters make the accusations whilst you stand aside, shocked.

Discussion

Whilst undermining their position may be more legitimate, personal attacks are surprisingly common. Negative attacks are not nice, but politics can be like that, and sometimes voters will choose the worst of what they perceive as a bad lot. If you have poor ratings, then attacking you opponent may bring them down to your level or below. If you start a fight then before long nobody will remember who originated the conflict.

Attack is always a dangerous strategy as cornered animals will fight hard. They also may have friends who will turn on you and may bring out the dirty evidence they have already unearthed whilst pointing at you as having started the fight (and so framing themselves as a relatively innocent victim).

See also

Power in politics, Attack the Person, Undermine their position

 

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