Propaganda is by far the most powerful weapon in today’s world. It’s a representation on how the pen is much mightier than the sword. The propaganda machine can either hurt or help you depending on the propaganda is used. Of all propaganda, political propaganda is by far the most powerful. Keep in mind that political propaganda is a double-edged sword because it can go one way but it can go the other way as well. And this is one double-edged sword that’s going to cut very deep, hurt very badly.
Once that cut heals, you’re still going to be feeling the sting for quite awhile. How propaganda works is like this, imagine two political candidates as two different sandwiches. One sandwich tastes rather bland and the other sandwich tastes extremely delicious. So the obvious choice is that you’re going to choose the sandwhich that tastes very delicious. But to counter it, the first sandwich is going to get seasoned by all sorts of condiments to make it taste better. When we go taste the sandwiches again, we’re going to pick the first one because it tastes so much better now without regards as to why it tastes much better.
We picked it because of the condiments without forgetting how it tasted in the first place. That analogy can be applied with political candidates.
A pretty unpopular candidate can do all sorts of stuff for publicity. In the same time the candidate is putting up the illusion that s/he is a very nice person. Such as helping out at a soup kitchen, serving pancakes at a pancake house, being a guest speaker at a local school, helping out at a homeless shelter, and what not. That’s political propaganda at the smallest level, but it’s just enough to change the public opinion about that specific candidate.
At a more hardcore level, one candidate can criticize another candidate because of his/her views. It was very much at play during the ’04 elections where there was all sorts of political propaganda against John Kerry. The reason the propaganda was so powerful because there was some truth into that along with the fact that Kerry did nothing. Kerry didn’t defend his actions nor did he stand up for himself.
For example, there was the Swift Vets ad that criticized John Kerry for his time in the service during the Vietnam War. That was a pretty powerful piece of propaganda right there. The biggest piece of propaganda that hurt John Kerry was that he was a "flip-flopper" going on one side of the spectrum and then flipping onto the other side, flopping back, and flipping over again. It definitely hurt John Kerry because it was true that he flip-flopped. However, the reason that piece of propaganda hurt is because John Kerry allowed it. He didn’t actively defend his actions.
If Kerry did, all that propaganda against him could have and would have been counters. I can see why a bunch of Democrats I talked to saying that Kerry was by far the worse candidate to represent the Democratic Party in the ’04 elections. Kerry had a bunch of good ideas but he didn’t counter the propaganda. He supported abortion and gay marriage rights, the Republicans along with the help of the Evangelical Christian Church managed to unleash powerful propaganda against those views and thus making "morals" the number one hot topic in the ’04 elections.
Political propaganda is one weapon that should never be underestimated. It can work with you or against you. Another form of political propaganda was the distasteful smear ad against Democratic candidate from Tennessee Harold Ford who happens to be half-Black. Early 2006, Harold Ford attended a superbowl party at the Playboy Mansion with Hugh Heffner. The last part of the smear ad dissed Ford because of it.
Then all this propaganda was unleashed on how it was a no-no for a Black man and a White woman to get together. Ford’s a single guy and he admits he likes women. All straight men like women. Especially when we’re single. Yet, the Republicans decided to unleash powerful propaganda. It pretty much worked because Tennessee is one of the bible-belt states in the Southeast United States.
Whatever there’s a big topic, there’s going to be political propaganda that’s going to put a spin on it. Propaganda can hurt if the candidates its directed to don’t do a thing. If the candidates aren’t going to do a thing, propaganda will be powerful to instill the thought to voters on why they should vote for that person if s/he isn’t willing to stand up for their views. That can be very dangerous and it’s going to affect the voters’ views on the candidates.
For political candidates, propaganda will affect their potential voting bases if they allow it to happen. They have to stand up for their views and what they’re going to bring to the table. Meaning, they’re going to have to send the sword back in the other direction. If need be, launch a counter-propaganda to dispel the propaganda against them.
How it’s going to affect voters’ choice is solely up to you. Basically, you’re going to have to see beyond the looking glass. It also goes both ways for voters as well.
Voters are going to have to take the effort to educate themselves more on the issues, what issues they stand for, what issues are more important to them, what candidates are going to stand for those issues, and so forth. We as voters are also going to have to see through the propaganda. Propaganda only works on voters whom are educated much on those subjects.
Currently with what’s on TV, our busy schedules, trying to find a job, and what not, it becomes difficult to educate ourselves on those issues. We’re going to have to educate ourselves.
Voter turnout is going to be affected by propaganda when voters don’t take the time to learn, study, and educate themselves. Also propaganda will also affect the voters if the candidates those propaganda campaigns directed against don’t take any actions to combat it.
How political propaganda affects voter choice is solely up to the voters and the candidates they’re voting for.