Negative advertising and the rubber band effect

Some seem to have rationalized their political choice by asserting that they think the other side is using repugnant campaign ads. There is a meme about awful negative and attack ads that is often used to impugn a candidate or a political party. The Nevada Independent Voters use this idea to pretend they are above the fray.

It is one the commonly accepted lies used as a basis for propaganda.

The issue should not be about negative ads or attack ads but rather the intellectual integrity and honesty of the ads. You can tell that this is the proper basis by the popularity of the “fact check” efforts.

The problem is that sometimes the line is not clear and there is a nuance or context that complicates perception and truthful understanding of position, value, or behavior. This is why a candidate or anyone else is using a rubber band when trying to describe someone else. The question for observers is how much this rubber band has been stretched and whether it has stretched so much that is broke.

Many times fact checking, if not honest, is noting the stretch of the rubber band and not whether or not it broke. The fact checking focuses on hyperbole or some other stretching and ignores the fundamental truth. When it does this, it illustrates both an ignorance and a bias.

There must be some allowance for flexibility in the rubber band. We must realize it exists in our own perceptions and we must recognize that it exists in the messages that come to us. What we must also be able to recognize is when it stretches too far and when it is being used as a weapon to find fault.

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