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The use of smear tactics in politics

Updated on November 2, 2011

Coverage of the GOP candidates has taken a different turn in recent days when a smear tactic has been initiated against a candidate running for office. Use of smear tactics in the political world is not a pleasant event for the public and the candidate (s) involved. This tactic has no place in the political world. This is regardless of the fact whether the events being identified ever happened. The latest smear campaign has some interesting facts associated with those bringing the information before the public and the media.

The campaigns of these candidates have been in existence for months and the fact that the candidate being smeared (Herman Cain) has risen to the top of the polls in many places has made him a target. This may come with the territory but there was previously no effort to bring forth this kind of information when he was not high in the polls. Another aspect as reported is that some of the allegations being levied appear to have some connection to another political candidate. Whether this is true or not does not matter. The principle involved here is attacking other candidates in this manner is wrong. Granted if these incidents did occur it is the right of the public to be informed. Individuals do make mistakes and candidates running for office are no different. They are human just like us the voters.

Another aspect of this current issue is the incidents were previously addressed and decisions were made and this should have closed the book. Other smear campaigns have occurred in previous election campaigns and they too had no place in politics. Those making these claims project a lower opinion of themselves especially if they are in politics and running against the candidate being smeared.

Individuals running for office should not be subjected to smear campaigns in an attempt raise the popularity of one candidate over another. This does not imply that there may not be information relative to the character of an individual running for office. Issues which have been investigated and decisions made should not be resurfaced in an attempt to make them an issue once again. In technical terms this creates a double jeopardy situation in comparing our legal system. Criminals cannot be tried for the same crime twice. In other words the Fifth Amendment and the use of the term double jeopardy prevent the government from repeated prosecution of individuals for the same offense as a means of harassment or oppression. Connecting the present smear campaign to this principle can project the impression to some that the candidate is being harassed when the same issue surfaces over and over again.

Many things occur in political campaigns but when coverage turns away from the issues and concentrates on events in a candidate’s past it raises questions about the type of coverage being provided. Decisions and actions of political candidates will always be questioned but character assignation should not be a part of the political process. We as voters must project our distaste of these tactics by voicing our opinion every way we can that the use of smear tactics is unacceptable. It is not an action which benefits the voters by talking about the issues.


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    • Dennis AuBuchon profile image

      Dennis AuBuchon 6 years ago

      Thanks for stopping by and providing your comments. I agree as long as it is successful it will continue. What we as citizens can do is voice our opinion with votes and and in polls taken.

    • lovemychris profile image

      Cape Wind Girl 6 years ago from Cape Cod, USA

      So true! Unfortunately, as long as it is successful, it will continue.


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