How to Take Down a Public Official
Democratic, Republic, Anarchist, Communist– whoever you are, I’m sure there’s a public official you want to take down. Here’s our guide on doing just that. Here we go:
Step 1: Pick your target.
Based on ideological grounds…
The political spectrum:
Authoritarian: Socially Restrictive/Conservative
Libertarian: Socially Liberal
Kim Jong Il
Ludwig von Mises
George W. Bush
Compare your target to the most extreme example in their graph quadrant.
“We’ve got a veritable Stalin over at the board of education.”
“Who knew Pinochet was a small-town mayor.”
“Got some free-love Noam Chomsky types over in the zoning commission.”
“It’s like Ayn Rand runs this hospital.”
Step Two: Then start mudslinging
1.) Negative ads are more memorable than positive ads when they reinforce a preexisting belief.
2.) The effects of negative ads increase over time.
1.) Daisy Girl Ad
Barry Goldwater Campaigned on cutting social programs + aggressive military action.
Lyndon Johnson: “Vote for President Johnson on November 3. The stakes are too high for you to stay home.”
1.) Contact many voters with a “poll.”
2.) Plant rumors, innuendo in voters minds.
3.) Make no effort to analyze poll data.
Example:”How would your opinion of the candidate change if they beat their wife?”
Origin: Richard Nixon’s first run for Congress
2008 Hillary Clinton in presidential primaries:
“It’s 3 a.m. and your children are safe and asleep, but there’s a phone in the white house and it’s ringing. Something’s happening in the world. Your vote will decide who answers that call. Whether it’s someone who already knows the world’s leaders knows the military, someone tested and ready to lead in a dangerous world.”
Attacking: Obama’s lack of previous experience.
Step Three: Think of elections as a hiring decision
Election time: There’s an employee whose contract is up for renewal.
Currently: The largest determinant of voting is party affiliation. Making each voter entering the voting booth more or less a “toss of the coin.”
To work towards:
A lesson from private industry:
(1) Incentivize good work
(2) Punish bad work
Flipping a coin based on party affiliation:
(1) Punishes bad behavior in the competitor’s party
(2) Punishes good behavior in the competitor’s party
(3) Incentivizes good behavior in your party
(4) Incentivizes bad behavior in your party
Keeping the bad apples in office more often than not.
Size of contracts:
Salaries of public officials:
Vice President: $230,700
Senators and Representatives: $174,000
Speaker of the House: $223,500
House and Senate Majority and Minority Leaders: $193,400
Chief Justice: $255,500
Associate Justice: $244,400
Federal Circuit Judges: $211,200
Federal District Judges: $199,100
Bad public officials get taken down every day. Let’s toss the bad apples.
- Benenson, Bob (2008). Elections A to Z (third edition). Washington, DC: CQ Press (pages 455 – 456).