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Opposition Sabotage: Just Another Day In Politics
By: Parker Public Relations
The latest victim of this tactic is Republican Candidate Joe Corica. Corica is in a race with Democratic Candidate Bill Otto for the Missouri House in the 70th District, and it appears that Otto has begun hitting below the belt a bit, by posting social media messages allegedly typed by Corica, going back up to 6-7 years in some case.
Don't get me wrong. I understand the impact social media has had on the world. Even I have over 2000 "friends" on my Facebook page myself (although, I don't realistically know more that about 30 of them), and I get that it has the ability to connect you to the world, but when exactly did a post on twitter, or that vast number of other social media outlets become creditable sources, especially for a political campaign. The number of social media pages that were hacked last year are in the millions, so that alone should tell voters not to believe what they read.
Political opposition strategy has always been about trying to discredit the opponent. Even the famed Watergate scandal of the early seventies sought to find some type of credible dirt on the opposition that could be used to secure a victory, but the keyword of day is "credible".
Mr. Corica has allegedly made statements that clearly would not be stated by any sensible candidate running for a political office. Corica claims that his Facebook page has been "hacked" numerous times over the years, and statements posted in an effort to discredit his political growth, and why not discourage him. Corica is a 30-something former Marine running for office. He's had the blessing and significant support from the party bosses like House Rep, John Diehl. So his creditability seems intact.
Social media is transient and superficial, and there are many deep places in social media where small often tenuous networks rise up and relate to each other over a specific event or topic. These groups pass information back and forth, reinforce beliefs, and keep anger alive long after most people would let it go. But when the election moves back into the public eye, the people that were able to flood the field with this kind of fodder we usually unsuccessful. Nobody changed their opinion, and in fact, people were much more upset, and were far more likely to go out and vote for the candidate who was the subject of the attack. This new tendency of mud to stick on a candidate more quickly, no longer persist because voters are smarter.
Corica has run an honest and stable campaign, but he probably should be reminded of something. We’ll never escape dishonest people I’m afraid. Whether they are wanting to steal your identity, your account, your business, your finances, or an election, we just can’t seem to escape these people. Everywhere, and in this case politics, someone is trying to get something for nothing and I’m afraid if he is not careful about this election, it can happen to him as well.
This is in no way an endorsement of Corica, or his campaign, but politics should be about debating issues, self-promotion, and letting the voters elect the best person for office. It should not be about how many "tweets" you get, how many are in your network, or how many people have "liked" your page. Hopefully candidates will realize this before voters begin to "unfriend" them.
John Parker is a professional public relations specialist, with an expertise in executive / political crisis communications, and President of Parker Public Relations in St. Louis, Missouri. He is the Author of the book "A Compartmentalized Life". You can contact him at email@example.com
Page Updated Last on: Oct 17, 2014