The following is a commentary from the Truth and Hope Report (http://www.truthandhope.2truth.com) Weekend update by Democratic Political Dave Screwtape in which Dave advises Democratic Congressional Candidates.
Recent polling shows Congressional approval ratings in the 20s and the Presidential approval rating in the low 30s, indicating that America has entered a new era.
Your average voter is thoroughly disgusted with the two parties, but nineteen out of twenty would never think of joining a third party. Most are far too lazy to even vote in the primary. So, thus Americans view their choices as between the disgusting and the intolerable.
As much as getting people to like you is a laudable goal that gives most politicos warm fuzzies, let’s be realistic. Your job is to increase people’s loathing of your opponent while not making too many errors of your own. Here are the key rules:
1) Destroy Your Opponents
Politics in past eras could be compared to a boxing match. In this century, politics is an ultimate fighting cage match where only one candidate will walk out politically alive. Attack any inference of a hint that suggests a possible, potential ethical lapse no matter how unlikely.
If they receive funds from an out of state group portray that group up as an illuminati-esque antichrist that is trying to buy the election. Never address questions regarding your own out of state funds.
Quietly spread the most damaging rumors to eager media allies who will report your every statement on deep background. Your goal is not to win the election, it is to destroy your opponent. Having done that, you’ll win the election and frighten away future challengers.
2) Be Vague
Avoid campaigning on specific issues as people may not like what you have to say. Rather, use vague generalities.
Here are some stock phrases sure to go over well:
“I’ll stand up for working families”
“I’ll fight for better wages and better jobs.”
“I’ll bring change to Washington.”
“It’s time for us to reform Washington.”
These could mean anything, and in themselves they mean nothing, which is the point.
When your opponent raises substantive issues, attack him. Misrepresent his position in any way you can get away with. The closer to the election you do this, the better, as it’ll give him less time to recover.
For example, if a candidate supports the Fair Tax, run an ad forty-eight hours before the election inferring he favors adding a 23% sales tax to the income tax. Thus, you give him no time to explain that the Fair Tax eliminates payroll and income taxes. Avoid putting issues into perspective and you’ll do well.
3) Run as a Uniter
Given the people’s general disgust with politicians, you can gain points by promising to bring people together, while at the same time getting in a swipe in at your opponent’s base. You can do this to great effect, with no sense of irony.
Try saying, “I will work to bring us together, so we can end the era of vitriolic name-calling. Unlike my opponent and his band of haters, I believe in being positive about our future.”
And then later, you can have a good laugh about it backstage.
4) Pay the Piper
If you have illegitimate children, bitter ex-spouses, or old college buddies who could destroy you n a heartbeat, meet with whoever you need to keep quiet and insure they do
If people don’t have the money to pay people to keep quiet, they won’t run. If they’d rather not have rumors reported as fact, they won’t run. Thus, the field will be limited and our democracy will work, as we’ll hold onto our majority regardless of our unpopularity.
The Screwtape Report is written by Adam Graham. The Screwtape Report is written from a Democratic perspective by a conservative in order to reveal Democratic strategy and thinking.