The observable examined

political campaigns then and now

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From the period of human history  we mark as BC  nearly 2000+ years ago, to now, somethings have not changed. Here is how a journalist may report on the current Republican nomination contest and the attendant political campaigns….

“It was a bitter and volatile campaign, with accusations of inconsistency, incompetence and scandal filling the air. Candidates competed to portray themselves as the true conservative choice, while voters fretted about the economy and war threatened in the Middle East. …”

In fact, Philip Freeman opens his piece, Dirty Tricks, Roman Style, with these very words but is describing a political campaign from 64 B.C !! In the rest of the article, Freeman documents the advice Quintus Cicero gave his older brother, Marcus, when he ran for the highest political office in Rome.  Freeman lists the top five

  1. Promise everything to everyone
  2. Call in all the favors
  3. Know your opponents weaknesses and exploit them
  4. Flatter  voters shamelessly
  5. Give people hope

He goes on to describe Quintus’ justification for why these are key elements for a successful political campaign. It is a very interesting read. I was struck by how remarkably little has changed in politics, and human nature, in general, in all these years.


Written by asterix98

March 18, 2012 at 8:43 pm

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