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Why is there so much mud-slinging in politics?

  1. CWanamaker profile image99
    CWanamakerposted 5 years ago

    Why is there so much mud-slinging in politics?

    Can't anyone just focus on the issues? Is it really necessary to belittle your competitors?


  2. alzel127 profile image75
    alzel127posted 5 years ago

    When two people disagree over topics or the topic is too big for a simple answer and the one or both involves want to get off the topic you will likely see mud-slinging. I think it is boring and turns me off to both parties involved. The problem is it gets attention.Is it more interesting to tell a story about the car that would not start and yell out your discomfort than is is to say my cars runs good and I have no complaints. The louder sound gets heard.

  3. Globetrekkermel profile image76
    Globetrekkermelposted 5 years ago

    Politics is  always a dirty game and with the press adding fuel to the fire, it does not get any better.  Bad news always sells and the press encourage that. I bet the debates are scripted to fit the slimy specifications of the press to  enhance ratings.
    This is true for any election including elections in other countries.if you observe the news, everything is magnified.It is hard to believe what is reported is true anymore.Responsible journalism is extinct.

  4. shampa sadhya profile image83
    shampa sadhyaposted 5 years ago

    People in politics are always power crazy. They are always opportunist and so they are in search of a situation and time to take the advantage of those. Ordinary people do not understand politics so it is easy to play with their sentiment and benefit from it. This helps them to come to power and then they are on the hot seat to misuse the power for their own profit. This is the root cause for mud-slinging in politics.

    1. ithabise profile image85
      ithabiseposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      I concur: It's a power game and the governed are the pawns!

  5. chspublish profile image80
    chspublishposted 5 years ago

    A really good question to ask, because it ( the question) brings us into the heart of human behavior. As has been mentioned before by some of the commentators, humans have genuine needs to 'win' and be in the power game - the rivalry of childhood lives on, so to speak.
    There seems to also be some need to 'bring someone down' or 'show the true nature of an opponent'.
    Anyway, the 'mudslinging', to my mind says more about the slinger than who is being slung atl. There is a sense of battle going on, when a debate takes place in politics or wherever is the platform of human interaction and that sense of 'battle', perhaps brings out the need to 'win'.
    Does it say - the mudslinging, that is - that we need heroes and leaders and not democratic leaders, where our voice counts after all?
    And are we all afraid and want 'our man' in, because we believe in him - believe being a strange word to use in the light of someone taking on a very important job?
    Anyway, very interesting question and I await to see what others write about.

  6. pagesvoice profile image85
    pagesvoiceposted 5 years ago

    Unfortunately, we now live in a world of mean comments, personal attacks and quite frankly, a climate of hate. Mud slinging isn't simply relegated to politics. People condemn other religions, a person's sexual orientation, other countries, cultures, ethnicity, styles of clothing, tattoos, and another person's appearance. Yesterday the quarterback for Kansas City was knocked unconscious on the field and a number of fans booed him. Our civilized society has become uncivilized in words and deeds.

    So, I guess politics doesn't have the market cornered on mud slinging because an aura of nastiness is everywhere and that, in and of itself, is a sad commentary.

    1. ChristinS profile image95
      ChristinSposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      I completely agree with you.  sad indeed.

  7. My Esoteric profile image91
    My Esotericposted 5 years ago

    It isn't just politics, what you are looking at is humans in compitition; it is just the way we are built.  What happens in a political campaign is simply a reflection on human nature.  BTW, if you want a study on true mud-slinging, study the campaign between Thomas Jefferson and John Adam for the 1800 election; that one makes this one look like dust-slinging.

  8. Attikos profile image79
    Attikosposted 5 years ago

    There are only three basic ways to conduct a political campaign. You can run on past, present or future.

    The past means you stand on your record to show the voters they may expect more of the same once you're in office. If you have one they like, you can build a strong presentation from it.

    Future means promises. If you are believed by the voters, then you can tell them about what you'll do once in office, and if they like that you're a popular pol who may win.

    Present means you focus on the time of the campaign. As a practical matter, that requires you to make your opponent look worse than you do so the voters in a two-party system have to accept you as the lesser of two evils. Negative campaigns of this sort do not concentrate on issues. They're all about personalities.

    In the current presidential race in the US, Obama can't run on his record. It is a horrible one, unpopular among the voters to an extreme rarely seen. He has to run away from it instead. Neither can he run on the future. His promises aren't believed anymore even by his supporters. That leaves negative campaigning.

    Once a pol goes there, his opponent has to respond. Bill Clinton's rule was that he had to counter a criticism within forty-eight  hours, and to do so aggressively, or else it became embedded in the public mind whether or not it was factual. As the news cycle grows shorter, the time frame for response does so as well. What we have today is two pols throwing accusations back and forth in a mudfight. It started with Obama's lack of options. He has to run in the present, not in past or future, and so his options to get himself reelected on any footing but the demonization of Romney are not there. The race has descended into the gutter because the Romney campaign has no choice but to respond to the smears, and doing so requires smears of their own.

    Both pols and public ultimately lose from this scenario. Neither candidate will ever fully recover from the dirt, so both are diminished, along with the ability of each to lead once in office. We voters have essentially an issuesless campaign providing us with little in the way of expectations, and so our votes must be cast largely on broad, personal perceptions manufactured by professional political operatives. This campaign is damaging to everyone, but it's what we get this time, and the reason is that Obama has no chance of reelection without turning it into a mudwrestling contest.

  9. James-wolve profile image80
    James-wolveposted 5 years ago

    Power and money, They get those things in office, to stroke their huge egos.

  10. profile image0
    huckelburyposted 5 years ago

    The country remains polarized at roughly 45% each for Democrats and Republicans. The base isn't likely to change, so the primary targets of the ads are the independent voters, many of whom don't analyze the issues but vote for individuals. Thus, every election becomes a contest to see who can appear most attractive, which naturally leads to attempts to make the opponent as unattractive as possible. It's really a marketing tactic, similar to brands competing for shelf space in your grocery. Sadly, it works. Remember the "death panels"?

  11. whonunuwho profile image79
    whonunuwhoposted 5 years ago

    This is what happens when there is a lack of substance in a candidate and he digs into the muddy mires of his own lacking and grasps in desperation the fequel matter that he so generously exudes. Out of his own ignorance and stupidity, he throws the muck in all directions, hoping to create an atmosphere that masks his on ineptitude and covering his opponent with the wastes of human desires. The first to throw is always the least qualified to lead and stumbles along the wayside of his own crooked path. May God help us all, when all we have is the sloppy scrawlings on the wall to see, and nothing left in a visual recognition of sanity and respect...only the smear of wastes from the asses of the false representatives of liberty...but then, what did you expect?

  12. Ericdierker profile image56
    Ericdierkerposted 5 years ago

    I like what chspublish wrote. But my understanding is one step further. Not so much the candidates but the system. I have it on very good authority that negative campaigning raises more money than positive. chspublish assertions are correct, but they go to the very heart of the masses, not necessarily the politicians.
    I am still opposed to debates -- it should not be a battle, it should be a two man think tank.

  13. IDONO profile image82
    IDONOposted 5 years ago

    I'll be to the points instead of trying to outdo Dennis Miller on the O'Reilly Factor.
         They throw mud for many reasons. The ones that stick out to me is that they do not have enough ammo based on their own merit to win, so they try to reduce their opponent to their level.
         Sadly, it's what people will listen to. People are not entertained by unity. They are entertained by conflict. How many people would watch NASCAR if there were no wrecks? How popular would reality T.V. be? Who would watch Jersey Shore or the Kardashians? (Sorry) There has to be a good guy and a bad guy in everything. There is no friendly competition anymore because society has no interest. It's boring.
         Mud-slinging is a tool to get your attention. It works. Who ever gets the most attention, gets the most endorsements. Whoever gets the most endorsements, gets the most campaign contributions. Whoever gets the most contributions, wins the election. Maybe that's why the 1% vote is more important than the 47%.

  14. Billie Pagliolo profile image60
    Billie Paglioloposted 5 years ago

    Even at the height of the Vietnam War, I don't think individuals were as vitiolic as they are to each other now in regard to politics.  I'm sorry to be simplistic, but I do think that to a large extent, Rush Limbaugh almost single-handedly set the tone that's pervasive now.  He has used hyperbole, mixed metaphors, name-calling, and innuendo for his own personal financial advancement.  He has brought illogical thought to a new level of popularity, seizing on human nature's basest tendencies in order to make money.  Others have followed his lucrative path and we are left with the advesarial conditions we have today.  While my grandmother and grandfather's only reported "fights" in the 40s were over politics, they loved each other - they lived in the same household - and were kind.  That's just not possible in a climate like this.  It makes me, as an older woman who is fascinated with politics, really quite depressed.  We could be so much better than this.