Monday, July 9, 2012

Scare tactics ... they WORK!

This past week on Fox News Sunday , Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said that Mitt Romney must be elected in November in order to "save America."  He also said that if President Barack Obama gets re-elected, "our way of life" is at stake.  WHAT? 

Oh, but Priebus wasn't finished: "Mitt Romney has to win for the sake of the very idea of America. Mitt Romney has to win for liberty and freedom."

 Omigawd ... grab the kids and dogs ... and head to Costa Rica with Limbaugh!

Keep in mind that the Fox News "journalists" didn't question Priebus; they didn't ask for specifics or explanations.   No big surprise there, right?  In other words, those "journalists" didn't do their job!

Priebus is very good at using the campaign scare tactic. He uses this tactic because he knows that many times straight facts simply aren't enough to motivate the masses to take a certain action.  It's much more effective to scare the crap out of them!

People who hear a frightening statistic or an alarming fact often take that information at face value ... and then act out of fear. That is the purpose of using scare tactics:  create a sense of fear or shock in the recipients. These fears, rational or irrational as they may be, are often enough to force people into making uninformed decisions or taking rash actions.

So, how effective was Priebus' statements on Sunday?  That afternoon I took my dogs to a fun match and heard two women talking about it:

Woman #1: "You HAVE to vote for Romney because if Obama gets back in there, we're going to lose our freedoms and our liberty!"

Woman #2:  "What makes you think that?"

Woman #1: "A very important man said it on TV this morning!"

It's clear that Woman #1 doesn't question what she heard - and she won't, either, because now she sees her liberty and freedom being yanked from her.  Why?  Because some man said it on TV.  Her vote in November will be cast out of a fear that has no factual basis whatsoever.

Karl Rove is the master when it comes to scare tactics.  He guided George W. Bush through all his campaigns, starting with the one for governor against Ann Richards.  One TV ad showed a woman being grabbed at gunpoint in a parking garage and then police draping a sheet over a young boy's body.  Bush, in a voice over, declared that Texas was the third most dangerous state in the nation and that HE would take action to change that.  

Factual?  No.  The crime rate had actually declined during Richards' term in office.

Effective? Yes.  People didn't check the crime stats ... they acted out of fear because they didn't want to be grabbed at gunpoint in a parking garage.

Rove used scare tactics in both Bush presidential campaigns, too.  And, it appears, the current GOP presidential campaign will continue the practice with Rove's guidance.

Now, before you get your knickers in a bunch, BOTH political parties have used scare tactics.  A great example is a TV ad that ran only once during the Johnson-Goldwater campaign in 1964 ...  but it sure got attention - and it resulted in a lot of Johnson votes.  It is STILL being referenced as one of the most effective TV campaign ads ever. Watch it!

Lyndon Johnson campaign ad

Scare tactic?  You bet! The message was clear:  if you vote for Barry Goldwater, we'll end up in a huge war with a giant mushroom cloud and there won't be any daisies left to pick.  That ad scared the livin' daylights out of people!  It's rather ironic, then, that Johnson proceeded to escalate the war in Vietnam after he was elected.

You can either become a victim of the scare tactic ... or you can make your voting decisions based on facts and evidence.  By the way, there is NO evidence that President Obama's re-election will result in a tyrannical government with no freedom or liberty for Americans.  None.  Remember ... we still have the U.S. Constitution in place and the three branches of government serve as a check and balance system to make sure that doesn't happen.

Why not be a responsible voter?  Why not ask questions and take a bit of time to check the facts before you vote out of fear?  Think about it:  decisions made out of fear aren't usually the best.

1 comment:

  1. That last statement you made is so true.
    Thank you for all the post here that you are doing for us. Keep up the good work!
    Bev Hayes