Sally White: Guard against political manipulations


A recent trend, heavily utilized in national politics and media during the last election, is the practice of assigning a nickname to someone with the sole purpose of re-defining that person, most often in a derogatory way.

This may, at first, seem to be just a joke, but with constant repetition the nickname becomes associated with the person being defined – to the advantage of the definer.
This practice harkens me back to elementary school days, when there were students, most often boys, who would lash out at others, also usually boys, in this fashion.

At that time this was identified as “name calling.” The purpose was always to degrade the person being attacked in order to make the attacker appear to be superior.

That was long ago, and with the changing of times, now women in politics seem to be fair game, and perhaps, on occasion, also become perpetrators themselves.
This practice can also take an opposite turn, when the identifiers assign grand, sometimes almost supernatural qualities to someone in order to redefine them in a powerful way, to the advantage of both the definer and the defined.

Recent examples of this practice have also reminded me of the names of comic book characters that were ever so popular in the ‘40s when I was in elementary school.
And what, you may wonder, is the purpose of this missive? It is very important to bring awareness of this practice to all citizens.

Each of us must do our best to think through candidates’ platforms and the many issues we face without letting our thinking become flavored by these attempts to color our thought process in a way that might be detrimental to ourselves, our families, and our futures.

We must stay alert, remain aware, stay strong, and most of all think. Our futures depend on it!

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