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Lightning rod strategy

 

Explanations > Politics > Lightning rod strategy

Description | Discussion | See also

 

Description

Get a highly visible third party to make your opponent appear negative opponent in some way.

One way is to have the third party make comments that make the opponent appear or say something negative, for example asking them searching questions on how their policies will disadvantage low-income people.

Your opponent may also be made to look negative if they have done bad things in the past and these are exposed and hauled over the coals again.

A neat alternative is to use a third party who has a negative image, such as a former criminal or disliked commentator, to praise the opponent or associate with them in some way.

Discussion

The term 'lightning rod' not only means a strip of metal down the side of a building that saves it by conducting lightning bolts to the ground, it also means 'someone who is a frequent target of negative reactions and serves to distract attention from another'.

The idea in political campaigns is hence to distract criticism away from you and onto you opponent. When your opponent is drawn into a cycle of negative discussion, they just look negative.

When a negative person associates with the opponent, the negative image rubs off on the opponent, making them appear negative like the third party.

This can also be an effective way of 'dishing the dirt' on an opponent, exposing bad things they have done or will do, without being seen to be fighting dirty yourself.

See also

Distraction principle

 

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