A famous philosopher once said, “It is the mark of an educated mind to entertain another thought without accepting it. ” That famous philosopher was none other than Aristotle. As one looks upon the political landscape which is currently upon us in the United States, one cannot help but notice the brutal and savage rhetoric which is eschewed daily by politicians, network news, and in the blogosphere by extreme pundits who lean either left or right. The rudeness and rhetorical attacks on one another has left casualties in its wake; notably the American public who must endure and witness such savagery.
It has now become the new psychological normal in the context of political warfare and gamesmanship. In this context, this essay will seek to explore the reasons and current/future ramifications on the psychology of rudeness and political warfare. One of the most basic and fundamental questions that one must ask themselves and one another every political season (which seems to be all the time with the exception for the day after the general election) is why do our political leaders or people who are running for elected office try so hard to assassinate the character of their opponent?
Well the answer is a simple one. It is effective. According to Jack Cafferty of CNN, “Even though voters say they don’t like negative campaigning, the ads are effective. Experts say negative ads tap into emotions like anxiety, fear and disgust that can push a voter away from a candidate. ” (Evans) An interview with political consultant Levi Reed, who has worked for Governor Rick Scott of Florida, Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin, and numerous other political campaigns stated the following, “The American public has to be treated as ignorant.
We must define our guy before the other guy defines him. At the same time, we must also define their guy in a negative light which again gives us favor to the voting electorate. Most voters don’t do research. They just go off of what they see on TV. So the person who defines their guy better, and advertises their guy better on TV will usually win elections in most cases. ” He went on the elaborate on to elaborate that being rude for a guy is advantageous as opposed to being rude for a woman. A women in his words would be considered “a bitch or bitchy” nd those are not words female candidates can usually overcome.
Analyzing political rudeness with the standard notion of just being rude, it is reported that six in ten people state that being rude or disrespectful behavior bothers them a lot (Cohen). Using this information and basic logical reasoning, it is no wonder why politicians seem to go for the jugular when they are in full campaign mode. Disrespectful behavior is in the eye of the beholder, however, as a general norm most people who are reasonable and rationale consider sexual infidelity to be a rude and disrespectful behavior.
This behavior has taken down many political giants namely: Former President Bill Clinton, former Congressman Anthony Weiner of New York, and for a period of time a sex scandal has even hurt Florida’s former Lt. Governor Jennifer Carrol, and the list could go on and on. In conclusion, this essay set out to explore the reasons and future ramifications of rudeness and its psychological impacts. One of a nation of laws basic tenants is that a person is entitled to their own opinions but not their own set of facts.
Opinions vary from one person to another and it’s our diversity that makes this country great. A person could hear another person’s ideas and reasoning and entertain the thoughts without necessarily accepting the premise or the entire thought pattern. Which brings us back to rudeness. The concepts of being rude or “rudeness” is in the eye of the beholder. What one person considers rude another person may not. In the political sphere of influence, being overbearing and dominate is what wins races.
Having the ability to define a person either truthfully or by means of inference is what also wins races and influence. Men are given great latitude in this area which society accepts and even at times forgives, and women cannot compete in this area for risk of being labeled a bitch or bitchy or in a case of a sexual scandal a slut or promiscuous. As long as the psychology works and it is a proven and effective, then the rudeness of political campaigns and political warfare will not change.