Negative Campaigning Strikes Using Stereotypes, Past Non-political Mistakes. Watch out for "bumper sticker" type messages that leave out a lot of background information or that don't tell the whole story. Look for messages that show prejudice based on race, religious choices, gender (including spouses), or past non-political mistakes that the person has made but would not likely make again.
Romney: He is stereo-typed as a wealthy man with no idea of what it is like to be one of the 99% who are not wealthy; he is accused of not caring about the poor or the helpless, like animals. His religious beliefs and the fact that he did not want to share his tax returns with the US public have brought claims of clanishness, dishonesty, and ominous secretiveness against him. These political ads leave out information, make false or irrelevant accusations, and play on people's emotions or fears.
Religion: are religious beliefs or one's church a valid way to judge a candidate's strengths or weaknesses? Should/do a candidate's religious beliefs influence her/his leadership style or decisions? What role has religion played in recent elections and in the Obama campaign?
Accusations of Not Caring Because of Wealth and Priviledge: Do you know what this ad refers to--Supreme Court decision and a secretly recored fund raising benefit for Romney? Is it a sweeping generalization?
Suspicious or Dishonest Character: What does this refer to, specifically--do you know? Does this ad suggest WHAT Romney is hiding, or that he is generally a dishonest person? What is unfair about this ad? Does the picture suggest in any way that the candidate is dishonest? Who paid for this ad?
Animal Neglect/Abuse: In the late 1970s Mitt Romney did strap his dog (Seamus), in a carrier, on the top of his car and did drive for hours on a family trip with the dog suffering on the roof. The dog was in a life-threatening situation because of this. Do you think that Romney didn't care about or intentionally hurt his dog or that he would do it again? Look at these ads below.
Wife: This is Ann Romney, married to Mitt Romney. She is depicted as a queen--her face imposed on a queen's body. Ann Romney is portrayed as spoiled and as out of touch with the middle class and poor because she and her husband are wealthy; her hobby is showing prize horses internationally and she has never worked for wages. If her husband is qualified for the job, does it matter what Ann Romney says or does?
Business: Romney's business used to involve buying other businesses. Sometimes those smaller businesses then had to close. This poster may refer to that kind of business practice. Is it fair to call Romney himself a parasite?
Is the following negative campaigning? If not, is its intention to be anti-Romney? What information do you have about the magazine or author, if any? Are they pro-Obama or pro-liberal candidates, or is this a balanced publication? Is it fair to candidates/their supporter to write negative articles about them using factual information or supported opinion?
Obama: Since the 2008 election, President Obama has combated negative imaging. Some of this has been overtly racist and some accuse Obama of hating white people. Fear often accompanies racism so some ads show him as a suspicous character who is hiding his true agenda. Your instructor decided not to include some of the most shocking and offensively racist ads since they are not mainstream and do not deserve our attention. Obama was accused of , of not having a US birth certificate and of faking the one he did produce. Some have insisted that his religion is Muslim because his father, whom he met only once, was. A well-known cover on "The New Yorker" magazine portrayed him and his wife and fist-bumping middle east terrorists. Though the illustrator assumed the public would understand this as a parody about the beliefs of extremists in this country, some took it seriously. He has been accused of being a socialist, but his own party tends to characterize him as a middle of the road Democrat.
Wife: Michelle Obama is sometimes portrayed as an angry, manipulative anti-American. What does this ad suggest and who might have put it out? Is it a joke or is it negative campaigning? What is a FEMA detention camp? What does Michelle Obama have to do with the her husband's qualification for the job of president?
Iconic Image Re-do: The poster that the Obama campaign used in 2008 is re-made here to suggest that one should fear Obama, though no reason is suggested.
"New Yorker Magazine" cover: meant as a parody (joke), this cover depicts some of the suspicion that Obama has encountered through negative campaigning. It addresses accusations of anti-Christian/pro-Muslim, anti-American, anti-white, and conspiratorial sentiments on the part of the Obamas, Michelle Obama included. Obama defended that right to publish it but was not happy that it perpetuated these negative stereotypes of him.
Hitler and Germany, Pre-World War II: At least one group makes suggestions that Obama is similar to Adolf Hitler--perhaps the most manical and evil leader of the last century who exterminated many thousands of Jews, the old, and the disabled in Germany in the 1940s. What does lack of jobs have to do with Hitler and Obama in the current situation? What factual information is provide below? What do the images attempt to get you to think about Obama? What is www.politifake.org?
Multiple Implied Accusations Without Facts or Background: what things are left out or exaggerated? Does Obama run old people in wheel chairs off cliffs? What is the context of the "750 billion dollars from medicare for Obamacare?" What led to America's lowered credit rating and when did the decline start? Are these actual issues or are they fear tactics?