5 political tactics used by liars

24 10 2008

When a politician starts speaking, you should already have your guard up.

Get ready to become a filter, because there’s a big difference between what a politician says, and what he or she actually means.

Terms you can tune out to. They dont mean much when politicians say them anymore.

Terms you can tune out to. They don't mean much when politicians say them anymore.

Fortunately, a lot of politicians have put themselves in a lot of compromising situations. This gives us a chance to observe those critical moments right before they actually admit to their misdeeds. It is in these moments where we can see the mind of a professional liar break down.

When one of the world’s greatest liars starts going down, we get to see what desperate attempts they make to try to stay afloat. Those desperate acts are the ones that show us the inner workings of mass manipulation And when we see those moments, we can remember and point out when others use them.

The following are five terms that politicians have used when they’re going down in flames. Check them out, and see if you can tell when politicians try to use the same tactics in the future.

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5) Redirection and Deferment:

We’ll start out with a popular example from about a decade ago. President Bill Clinton’s position was compromised after he put intern Monica Lewinsky in a compromising position. It doesn’t matter what your personal opinion is about the situation, the fact that Clinton lied isn’t up for debate.

Clinton said he didn’t have any kind of sexual relations with the intern, but later admitted he did. This gives us an opportunity to see Slick Willy’s tactics of untruth.

This video takes place after Clinton cracked under the pressure, but there are still some key strategies we can get out of it.

Notice how he immediately tries to redirect the conversation at the beginning. That’s a very successful way politicians get out of what they don’t want to talk about. It didn’t work in this instance, but it has in many others.

His answers also give us some information. If a politician is being asked a serious question, and can’t give a “yes” or “no” answer, there’s a problem. If someone’s making sure not to answer a question, it’s probably because they don’t like the answer they would give.

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4) Unprovoked confirmation that a statement is true:

Recently, John McCain has been put in a situation that has forced him to defend “robocalls” he’s decided to make. These are automated calls into people’s homes that campaign for McCain.

A video of him defending these calls gives us some insight into how politicians will sometimes start defending an accusation that was never made.

McCain starts defending how true the robocall is, when that was never an issue. By doing this, he not only redirects whatever accusation was going to be made, but he also gets off without having to lie about anything (even though what he’s doing is suspect).

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3) Make it personal:

Richard Nixon’s most popular phrase of all time is probably, “I am not a crook.” The problem was, that statement wasn’t exactly true. He was involved in the Watergate scandal.

While his ship was sinking, he was able to give us a statement, which we can now look back on and see as a not-always-effective tactic to cool down the heat.

He makes the accusations more personal by using “I am” and “I’ve earned” statements. These are an effective way to confront everyone who is thinking bad thoughts about you. It makes people think they are attacking you, because they don’t like you.

If they think you did something wrong, call them out on it, and they’ll usually back down. That is, unless they have a lot of recorded evidence to back themselves up.

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2) Realistic, but not necessarily real, links:

One of the best ways to get Americans to fight who you want them to fight, is to link your enemies to people Americans already don’t like.

Dick Cheney gave a good example of this when he was trying to link Iraq to the attacks on Sept. 11. Cheney made statements suggesting that Iraq was somehow involved, and not only was this later proved wrong, but Cheney also backtracked on the statements himself.

Even though he backtracked, this was still a factor in getting support for the Iraq War from the public. This tactic can be very dangerous, because it can lead to a constant war where we keep attacking people who our leaders tell us are linked to people we’ve already fought.

The 7-step Kevin Bacon rule proves that this can eventually kill us all, since we’re all linked in someway. Thank you, Kevin Bacon, for proving the eventual apocalypse.

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1) Fear:

Fear is what politicians use most to control us. People will do almost anything to not feel fear, and that’s why politicians keep feeding it to us. It’s the most effective way to get what they want.

This last one is a little bit of a compilation of politicians, but they’re all from basically the same administration.

We need to realize that there’s always going to be something to be afraid of, but it’s not a reason to allow others to control what we do.

We have to keep our guard up when politicians are talking about scary stuff, because it usually means they want something. It’s the equivalent to a child being really nice to their parents all of the sudden.

They’re only doing it to get what they want, and they’ll do it again when they need something else.

-William Kammer

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“Real Virginia” may be a new key meaningless term for McCain

19 10 2008

Recently, John McCain’s aide said that McCain was strong in “real Virginia.” This looks like it could become another one of those terms that politicians use to rile-up support while the words don’t really mean anything.

Maybe "real Virginia" should be added to the cloud

Maybe "real Virginia" should be added to the cloud.

“Real” Virginia is anyone who helps encompass what Virginia is as a state. That includes everyone who lives there, not just the people who support McCain, so I don’t see what they could really be getting at by the term.

McCain’s aide, Nancy Pfotenhauer, said that the poeple who live in the more populated areas in the northern parts of Virginia are commuters and people moving from D.C. who don’t count as “real” Virginians.

This is different than the southern par, which is more rural.

It’s pretty well known that republicans do better in rural areas, so why create a term that pins down those in Virginia? The logical reason seems to be one that’s a little slimy.

Instead of getting people in Virginia to support McCain by making him hear what their needs are, and helping them with their problems, the big strategy is to back-handily lie to them. By using the term “real Virginia,” all McCain does is instill a sense of ownership and pride in the rural south of the state.

If someone told me I lived in the “real California,” I would feel pretty proud of myself, but at the same time, it doesn’t really help me with my bills. I don’t really care if I live in the “real” part of the state, if the state is still getting screwed over.

When the “real” parts of the states are hurting just bad or more than the “fake” parts, then what’s the real difference? The only difference is one part of the state is going to have a chunk swayed to vote for someone who did nothing more than give them an empty compliment.

This is the video:





ACORN and Obama: not voter fraud

16 10 2008

There are people out there who are trying to link Obama to a couple of bad eggs who worked for the community organization ACORN. This organization goes out and gets people to register to vote. They’ve been able to get over 1.3 million people to register and have about 13,000 people working for them.

It’s hard to believe that any organization dealing with so many people would be able to keep everything perfect. There’re going to be a couple of people in there that are going to try to take advantage of the system, or laze around and do their jobs poorly.

Evil Army ACORN, watch out, they might register voters!

Evil Army ACORN, watch out, they might register voters!

Just because some people at the bottom suck at their jobs, that’s no reason to attack presidential candidates.

I couldn’t find anything linking Obama directly to those who committed violations, just the organization in general. The only link McCain is going off of is that Obama has supported the organization in the past.

There’s one problem with McCain’s accusation: McCain has also supported ACORN in the past.

“It is clear for us to see that John McCain was for ACORN before he was against ACORN,” ACORN national president, Maude Hurd, said in an issued response.

ACORN stands for Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now. I thought “reform” was one of McCain’s meaningless key terms. Hurd said McCain supported ACORN as recently as 2006.

It’s starting to become clear that ACORN had some bad nuts fall from the tree, but when you look into who has supported the organization, it doesn’t seem like any one party benefited more. It isn’t Obama’s fault if newly registered voters support Obama more, welcome to a different generation.

And even if Obama was directly related to the violators in ACORN, that would be voter registration fraud, not voter fraud. There’s a big difference: one pumps up the numbers of how many voters it looks like are registered, and the other destroys elections by changing the outcome.

The debate last night made it seem like the two were one and the same.

Check out FOX News’ piece on it, they also try to blame the bailout on ACORN. Keep in mind, McCain has also supported this group.





Key meaningless political terms in the VP debate

7 10 2008

As the election gets closer, I can’t help but notice more meaningless political words coming out. These are words politicians use without understanding the meaning of the word, or at least not using the word in the correct way.

This makes the word or phrase take on a new meaning that helps the person who is using the word. For example, using the word “freedom” will strike certain emotions in people without the politician needing to use the word correctly.

Tag cloud of meaningless political words, the larger are more dangerous

Tag cloud of meaningless political words, the larger are more dangerous

I came up with a list of meaningless words (with some help from a post at DoubleThinkBlog and one at KVNUForThePeople), and I put them in a tag cloud-style grid with the most construed and misused words being the largest.

I also tallied how often some of those words were used in the recent vice presidential debate between Joe Biden and Sarah Palin.

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Tally of key terms in VP debate:

Change: Palin – 18, Biden – 22, Maverick: Palin – 6, Biden – 9

Freedom: Palin – 5, Biden – 1, Patriot: Palin – 3, Biden – 2

Rights: Palin – 2, Biden – 7, Democracy: Palin – 3, Biden – 1

Terror: Palin – 3, Biden – 5, Security: Palin – 3, Biden – 3

Equal: Palin – 1, Biden – 0, Victory: Palin – 2, Biden – 0

Experience: Palin – 4, Biden – 0, War on…: Palin – 2, Biden – 0

Total “Victories”: Biden – 4, Palin – 7, Tie – 1

“Change” was by far the most used term during the debate, but there were questions about change, so that statistic was pumped up. Biden used the word “maverick” more than Palin did, and he never mentioned experience.

Also note that:

  • “equal” includes “equality”
  • “terror” includes “terrorist” and “terrorism”
  • “patriot” includes “patriotic”