Hillary Clinton is a terrible and corrupt human being. But we already knew that – do voters need constant reminding? Apparently, the RNC thinks so, because this is the Republican strategy for the upcoming midterm elections.
Since Clinton’s loss, the Democrats have been criticized as a vacuum of ideas, foregoing any actual policy in favor of an endless stream of Trump thumping. Now it’s the Republicans’ turn, with early indications that they will campaign to link Democrat candidates with the toxic images of Clinton and other Democrat heavyweights such as Nancy Pelosi.
Hillary may be a figure that Republicans “love to hate,” and she herself has done considerable damage to the Democrat image with her continued public blunders – as humorously pointed out by LN’s Jeff Charles. Hate itself cannot be the basis for selecting public representatives or creating a thriving democracy. Rather, elections are turning into a circus used to distract voters from the complete lack of substance on both sides of the political aisle.
Donald Trump may have come up with some catchy nicknames to belittle his opponents but in the end, he won the presidency because voters liked his agenda “Making America Great Again,” not because of his put-downs.
Stop Hillary… Again
Democratic Party candidate Conor Lamb recently won a seat in Congress representing Pennsylvania, despite “convincing” Republican counter-campaign pamphlets that read: “STOP HILLARY. STOP PELOSI. STOP LAMB.” A series of TV ads sponsored by Republican SuperPAC the Congressional Leadership Fund repeatedly called Lamb a “Pelosi liberal,” linking him to the least popular Congressional leader. The PAC apparently has big plans for the midterms, with Executive Director Corry Bliss predicting that Hillary Clinton will star in the campaigning:
“I promise you that you’ll continue to see it — Hillary Clinton starring in our paid media. She’s a very powerful motivator… It’s about what she represents. What she represents, just like what Nancy Pelosi represents, is out-of-touch far-left liberal positions.”
A digital ad sponsored by the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) has taken aim at Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL).
“She’s called you ‘deplorable.’ Now, she’s called you ‘backwards,'” might sound like a strange way to begin a commercial about Nelson, but all soon becomes clear: “If Bill Nelson had his way, Hillary Clinton would be president. Florida won’t forget.”
A NRSC spokesman said the ads will run for the next two weeks, confirming it sets the tone for the committee’s upcoming midterm ads.
Former Hillary and DNC staffer Jesse Ferguson brushed the ad off as a desperate move, saying “Their obsession with her is evidence that they have nothing to run on, and they’re scared of running with the president.” An accusation that eerily echoes the Democrat fixation with Trump, though perhaps even more feeble given the fact that Hillary is not even a candidate this time around.
Negative Campaigning is Dirty Politics
The U.S. is relatively unique in the democratic world for its heavy reliance on negative campaigning, with attack ads specifically designed to engender fear and hatred of their target. Rather than creating a solid policy platform that will make a difference on voters’ lives, Democrats and Republicans alike find it easier to pinpoint a few flaws in the opposition and flog them to death until the exhausted voter turns up at the polling station out of fear for what might happen if the villain on the other side wins. This is highly convenient for both parties; not only do they need not bother finding out what polices could improve the lives of voters, but whichever side wins, they have few promises to actually live up to during their term in office.
Negative campaigning is making up a larger and larger portion of political television advertising. According to the Wesleyan Media Project, negative campaigning comprised about 30% of TV political ads during the 2000 presidential election, but by 2012, negative advertising had grown to over 60%, with positive ads shrinking to only about 15% of televised campaign ads.
Hillary Clinton not only advertised three times as much as Trump during the 2016 presidential election, she ran a particularly negative campaign, with 60% of ads attacking Trump and only 31% focusing on her own message. Trump took the middle ground, focusing instead on contrast ads, which both promoted himself and criticized Clinton by comparison. Group sponsored ads for both candidates were overwhelmingly negative, it may not be a coincidence that the more positive contender won.
Politics is becoming increasingly polarized and hateful, and it’s hardly surprising with campaigns revolving around nasty attack ads that have little to do with policy. Democrats get votes from Trump haters; now Republicans are looking for votes from Clinton haters. Meanwhile, the rest of us are left wondering what these “public servants” will do for the people, once they are in office.