Negative to the nth Power = Success

A Political Rant!

Suppose for a moment that you are a leader of a political party which has experienced humiliating  defeats in the previous two national elections and the opposition party has huge majorities in the Congress and a chief executive elected by a large margin.

Suppose also that  someone came to you and proposed the following strategy designed to achieve major gains in the next election:

  • Unanimously oppose every legislative initiative of the majority party, regardless of its desirability or necessity; and regardless of the fact that you may be in favor of it, or even had previously proposed it.
  • Impugn the motivation of the majority party in all of its proposals, portraying the party in power as socialistic, communistic, fascist, dictatorial, unpatriotic and uninterested in the wishes of the people.
  • Claim that the party in power is unwilling to negotiate while, at the same time do not compromise on any issue.
  • Make up lies about the effects  of proposed legislation,  the more outrageous the better – and repeat it ad nauseum, even when the lies are exposed.
  • Use innuendo to suggest things that can not be expressed openly about the leaders of the majority party; things that feed on peoples’ fears and prejudices – hoping to be called on it, so you can express your righteous indignation that anyone could suggest you were so motivated –  therefore you are the victim of the very same thing you hinted at.
  • At every opportunity proclaim your earnest desire to reclaim your country, charging that the majority party aims to destroy everything that made the nation great, take away the rights of true citizens and turn power and wealth over to “THEM”.

I would have thought that anyone suggesting this was out of his mind – that it  could only lead to even greater losses.  I would have been very, very wrong!

Following the above strategy exactly the Republican Party accomplished one of the greatest political recoveries in the history of the nation, demonstrating quite effectively that negativity is the most effective political strategy

Groucho Marx, in this video from one of his movies in the 1930, beautifully expresses the Republican position of  the past two years.



Filed under Personal Views

4 responses to “Negative to the nth Power = Success

  1. naturgesetz

    It’s a strategy which, sadly, both parties in this country use. Of course, the Democrats have their own pet phrases to characterize the Republicans, but the tactics are the same: obstruct and misrepresent.

    This is the disastrous effect of the fact that everybody is thinking only of winning the next election.

  2. Ed

    Yes, I agree that negativity and obstruction are strategies common to both parties. But the Republicans in the past two years raised them to an art form! That is what prompted my rant.

    I am a centrist, and fervently believe that compromise is the essence of good government. When people feel that they got something out of the process – then they can more easily accept something they would otherwise not. You don’t feel put upon, or that your views were not considered. If everything I wanted were put into effect exactly there would be but one satisfied person in the country and 300,000,000-plus disgruntled.

    I also feel that it is dangerous to our democracy to have one party retain power for long periods.

  3. From where we sit in the UK BOTH your parties seem right wing!

    Even our so-called ‘centre right’ Conservatives, being led by David Cameron, have been pulled away from much of their former nastiness and are being constantly moderated and softened by their necessary coalition with Nick Clegg and his Liberal Democrats. If I was a member of a political party then I’d be with Nick.

    So now you know!

    In my book you need a third political party to stat to make the Democrats more radical and confident, not less!

    • Ed

      Your assertion that both of our major parties are right wing is valid, at least compared to British and European parties. I suppose it has always been so by necessity because our population has always leaned center-right.

      Until the past half-century both parties had been controlled by their center-right factions. The Republican Party has moved to the far right, and the Democrats have been forced by circumstance to also shift rightward.

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