Before I proceed, let me make some clarifications. This writer is a Nigerian and knows very little about United States’ politics on first hand basis. Like most of our people who take keen interests in the US elections I have relied much on information from the media and from my knowledge of theoretical politics. So I must admit my limited knowledge beforehand.
Secondly, for those who know me well probably know that notwithstanding my progressive orientations, my views on US politics are surprisingly pro-Republican except in 2008 where he joined the rest of the world in dropping his toga of partisanship to support Barrack Obama in that historic election. My Republican persuasion lies from the fact that blacks were originally supporters of the Grand Old Party (GOP). Though many blacks tend to have forgotten this fact, the first sets of blacks in the US Congress were Republicans. Abraham Lincoln’s Republican government it was that freed black slaves during the American Civil War (1861-65). Please spare me that racist appellation!
Some weeks ago, former Secretary of State, Mrs Hillary Clinton officially signified her intention to take a shot at the US Presidency. No sooner had she done this than the Republican handlers started personal attacks on her, including digging deeper into her past in their bid to discredit her. My humble take on this rather jejune approach is that it is counter-productive!
We say this because, first Mrs Clinton is not yet the Democratic candidate, she is only an aspirant like every other. Second, the Republican handlers are only revealing their cards rather too early. Thirdly, GOP leaders are making the same approach that just recently failed in the Nigerian presidential elections. Nothing good ever comes out of focusing your entire campaign on your opponent, you end up campaigning freely for him or her. Sadly this appears to be what GOP handlers are doing.
For those who know, the 2015 Nigerian presidential election, like I wrote in my article, PDP’s Fatal Underestimation of APC’s Strategy was won and lost thanks to the tactless(ful) use of propaganda. The ruling People’s Democratic Party(PDP) rather than focus on campaigning for votes and promoting its own candidate, President Goodluck Jonathan shot itself in the foot when it took to lies, insults and personal attacks on the All Progressives Congress(APC) candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari. The disinformation the PDP sponsored against the General backfired in no small measures that the party will live with at least for the next four or more years. It all started when the Party’s Presidential Campaign spokesman, Mr. Femi Fani-Kayode, a loquacious fellow with no public relations background, told everyone who cares to listen that the Jonathan’s campaign will focus entirely on General Buhari, the party’s main rival!
My fear for the Republicans in this case is that they are failing to see the obvious. Can it be that the GOP handlers are scared of Mrs. Clinton’s candidacy? Are they finding it difficult to cope with her charisma? Again what does Mrs Clinton’s personal lifestyle got to do with the election? Will they personally attack her to the extent they will go for her pets? My unrequested opinion is for the GOP leaders to focus on the issues rather than quotidian issues like age, sex, race or family. I can only hope that Republican leaders who have lived long enough will remember how the attack on Franklin D. Roosevelt’s dog, Fala massively backfired in the 1940s!
Insults don’t win arguments just as propaganda doesn’t win elections. Even if it appears to do so, it is at best temporal. Propaganda can win battles in some areas but does not win the war. This was the lesson the German Chief propagandist during the World War II, Joseph Gobbels will perpetually remember in his grave. If propaganda ever wins election President Goodluck Jonathan would have won the March 28 Nigerian presidential election. If propaganda ever wins a war the world would probably be under Nazi rule today!
It is true that the GOP is on course to win the 2016 election as a result of its recent success in the mid-term elections, though this is not in any way mechanical. Failing to win the presidential election will be their greatest undoing. The tactless use of propaganda by their handlers to which Hillary Clinton, if her strategists are working can take advantage of to become the first woman occupant of the White House!