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7 Ridiculous Tactics of Disloyal Politicians

Updated on March 20, 2017

Introduction

The movie "Head of State," starring Chris Rock as May Gilliam, epitomizes the behaviors of fickle political sponsors and politicians in our political world today. While Gilliam is fielded by his party as its presidential candidate, the reason he is nominated is not because his party wants him to win the election; he is being used and manipulated because he is likable and his likability has potential to increase the party's chances of winning the election in the future. But when he discovers the dubious and clandestine plans of his party, he fires all disloyal campaign managers and hires his brother as his running mate and goes on to win the presidential election. Arguably, the movie was inspired by the Democratic Party's selection of Geraldine Ferraro as the running mate of Walter Mondale in the 1984 American presidential elections. It is believed that Ferraro was selected as Walter Mondale's running mate not because Mondale had a chance of winning against Ronald Regan, but because she was likable and the Democratic Party hoped to win women's support so as to increase its chances of winning the elections in four years. As it was expected, Walter Mondale went on to lose to Ronald Regan. These treacherous actions of unfaithful politicians are not privy to May Gillim or Geraldine Ferraro alone. They are universal.

1. Controlling

Controlling is one of the tactics unscrupulous politicians use on you if you are an amateur politician. This tactic is intended to put them in the driver's seat by managing, directing, administering supervising and steering your campaign--usually for the wrong reasons. They intentionally create a toxic relationship between you and your agents, between you and your supporters and well-wishers in order to derail your campaign. Other actions they take include engendering overt threats to you such as the threats of leaving your camp and joining your opponent's camp if you don't heed their advice; making you guilty with statement such as "I told you so"; and by binding you through luxurious gifts and donations to your campaign so that you are kept under their wings. In addition, they employ spies to track the progress of your campaign; become too invasive and want to know whatever goes on in your living room and your bedroom; belittle you and make you feel you are beneath them, even when all indications are that you have a higher reputation and credible academic credentials than they do; refuse to accept your point of view; and sometimes encourage you to engage in destructive behaviors such as publicly insulting your opponent in order to label you temperamentally unfit and dangerously unqualified to lead. In other words, their goal is to undermine your chances of winning an election.

2. Proxy Wars

Another ludicrous tactic false politicians use is to trick you into their proxy wars. They do that to utilize your good reputation in order to attack the interests of their enemies for their own future political gains. These proxy wars encourage verbal exchanges that demean and belittle their opponents and damage their reputation, credibility, and character. More often than not, some of them might not have the financial resources necessary to de-campaign their enemies through attack ads and want to exploit your human and financial resources to meet their selfish ambitions. If not avoided, their traitorous actions might damage your reputation and make your life difficult. These machiavellian tactics also make it difficult for you to engage in diplomatic relationships that would help you win over your opponent's supporters.

3. Depletion of Your Financial Resources

Another tactic wicked politicians use is to deplete your financial resources in order to handicap your campaign financially. If you don't take charge of your own campaign, you might find yourself impecunious in the short run. There are some shrewd politicians who have created a false consciousness that they are the best politicians in town and in order for you to win an election, you have to go through them. Sometimes, your political campaign might take place at the same time they are doing theirs, and so whatever contribution you make at any function or fundraising, they skillfully split it in half without your knowledge. And in the end, you may find that your campaign is running out of funds because you are funding two or more campaigns.

4. Smear Campaign

Deceitful politicians engage in a smear campaign to achieve several objectives: to undermine your credibility; to call into question your reputation and to blackmail your character. They will covertly engage in efforts to enervate your message and diminish your trustworthiness while making you unbelievable. This is done through rumors, distortions, half-truth, gossips and outright machinations. These duplicitous politicians know that what they are doing lacks proper foundation; they know that a good number of people will believe them before you get a chance to debunk their lies; they also know that you might not have the time and the resources to deflate their lies. This is done maybe because of your sunny personality that is engaging; your inherent features that make you attract public support; good organization of your campaign; your state of mind that denotes calmness amidst challenging situations; your high level thinking that utilizes appropriately limited resources at your disposal; or the unique composition of your campaign team. It is imperative to remember that crafty politicians within your camp might be the worse enemies than your real political opponents. They masquerade as your supporters when they are guiding you in directions that truncate your popularity while keeping you under wrap waiting for the right time for them to run for the same office. If you do not detect these insincere characters ahead of time, they will be monitoring your moves and adjusting and stealing ideas from you that they will use later against you. It is important to note that the electorates gravitate toward leaders who are grounded in their own vision and who have the ability to persuade others to buy into their vision.

5. False Pretense

Dishonest politicians make erroneous assumptions about your campaign. Even when you have invested the most amount of money and ran your campaign successfully, they will pretend that they are the chief sponsors of your campaign. Being under their wings might make it difficult for you to make informed decisions. And if they are strategizing for the same position in the future, any decision that improves your popularity is a threat to them. They also intentionally withhold important information that they think would help your campaign advance successfully. They try to make financial decisions for you by directing your finances to programs that have no bearing on your campaign in order to handicap you financially. If they are the ones in charge of financing your campaign, they will hold you financially hostage. You will find yourself having to beg them for money to carry out your campaign activities.

6. Misrepresentation

Crooked politicians, if hired to run your political campaign, will do everything in their power to misrepresent you. They will make false statements that call into question your character; they will make pledges and promises on your behalf that they know are not achievable in order to label you a liar when you don't fulfill those promises; they will also make statements based on opinions not on facts and claim to have special knowledge on the issue when they don't. Remember, most of them are not interested in your winning the election--they are driven by their ulterior motives. Some of them might be with you during the day, and with another candidate during the night. In other words, opportunistic politicians are business politicians. You need to watch out! Their fraudulent and negligent misrepresentation of your campaign might result in civil lawsuits that would slow down the momentum of your campaign.

7. Divide and Rule

Some corrupt politicians have read Machiavelli's divide and rule theory in Book IV of the "Art of War" in which Niccolo Machiavelli advocates for a military strategy that would weaken the enemy. This strategy entails making efforts to divide the forces of the enemy, either by making him suspicious of his men in whom he trusts or by making him divide his army to make it weaker and vulnerable to defeat. This is what happens with mendacious politicians. While they are purportedly campaigning for you, they are secretly planting seeds of hatred and divisionism in your camp to prevent your agents from making strong alliances that would propel you to victory. They also secretly bribe your supporters and agents with gifts and favors to divert their attention from carrying out your campaign plans. They secretly foster distrust among your agents and staffers and encourage meaningless expenditures to reduce your capacity of meaningful political spending in order to deplete your finances. While you are innocently following their directives, they are surreptitiously identifying your strong supporters and agents to gain their support for their future political campaign. They will ensure that your camp is so disorganized that your agents are at log heads with one another all the time. They will make sustained effort to ensure that divisions and conflicts in your camp are too great for you to win an election.

Recommendations

  • Do not rely on anybody to finance your campaign. If that person has more money than you do and purports to be your campaign financier, let him declare the amount of his contribution so that you can make your own financial decisions. Otherwise, that person is going to hold you hostage and destroy your campaign programs by stalling your activities with his passive aggressiveness. It is also important to be financially secure such that if one tries to hold back the money, you can use your own money to run your campaign.
  • It is important to articulate your vision earlier and call everybody to buy into that vision. You cannot have two visions, your vision and the vision of your false benefactors. Two or more visions will send mixed messages to your electorates. sometimes, you need to be bold and refuse the sponsorship from someone you think is trying to divert you from your vision for his or her own political self-interests. It is better to lose an election because of inadequate funding and retain your reputation for the next election than to lose the election and your reputation for being sporadically financed by a wealthy political opportunist. There are very many good and respectable people in the community who can run your campaign successfully--look for them.
  • Don't rely on self-proclaimed savvy politicians whose agenda is self-promotion for their future political careers. Be clear from the beginning to whoever is trying to control your campaign that your goal is to bring unity by working and serving everybody--supporter or non-supporter. Setting the stage early will help you run your campaign smoothly. Remember, you need your supporters and your opponents' supports to win an election. If the electorates see that you are spreading politics of divisionism, they will look at you as a divider and not a uniter and might refuse to vote for you. It is important to surround yourself with good people: religious leaders, community leaders, leaders of community organizations, and leaders of educational institutions--generally, leaders who share your vision.


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