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Perception is reality in political campaigns

As a social studies teacher, I took summer seminars to improve my knowledge and skill set. I took one on politics at American University in Washington, D.C. All of the lectures and field trips boiled down to one prime lesson. In politics, perception is reality. In other words, if you can convince somebody that something is true, even if it’s patently false, that becomes that person’s reality.

An example would be the CEOs of the tobacco companies swearing their product did not cause cancer. In fact, for years they had doctors’ endorsements in print and video images.

In The News on June 1, an article stated, “GOP retooling message to combat war on women.” It highlighted this attempt with techniques like getting more women to run for office, getting male candidates not to make gender-disparaging remarks, upgrading the debate skills of candidates and having male candidates put pictures of daughters and wives on their websites. However, female Republican candidates are viewed as too liberal by primary voters and they pick males two-thirds of the time. So again, the end product is perception, not reality.

Reality would be for Congress, including Republicans, to pass legislation to raise the minimum wage, since two-thirds of minimum-wage workers are women. Stop cutting food stamp and unemployment benefits. Pass legislation that enables women to get equal pay for equal credentials and ability. Stop closing women health centers and banning birth control methodology. This runs counter to Republican principles of getting big government out of the lives of citizens anyhow.

However, no matter how they arrange the chairs on the Titanic, doing any of these behaviors would end up having the radical right accusing Republicans of acting like Democrats.

Richard Czarnecki

Sanborn