COMMENTARY: The Political Dirty South


The Gantt Report, by Lucius Gantt

 If you live below the Canadian border, you’re living in The Dirty South!

     Politically speaking, in the United States, October is the nastiest, filthiest and most negative month of the year.

     Almost every federal, state and local candidate that has money will pay someone to find negative things that they can use against their opponents. Nationwide candidates, like Trump and Biden, will pay millions of dollars to dirt bags, also called “opposition researchers” to trash the man or woman they are competing against.

      Do you get tired of so many negative political advertisements? I do because the presentations oftentimes take things out of context. If I say, “I will defend my wife and children”, in a political commercial my comment might be altered to say I “threatened to kill people”.

      If I have friends that are members of The Nation of Islam, if I was a candidate, commercials will be ran that say I “do what Min. Farrakhan tells me to do”.

      If you believe campaign advertisements, every candidate is a radical, a terrorist, a cheat, a womanizer, a corrupt business person, on the “down low” or high on the hog!

      Guess what, negative advertisements, in my mind, are used to suppress the votes, not to increase voter turnout. If voters think both candidates are crooks, they may be less likely to vote for either one of them.

     News flash! The voters in Florida, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and voters in other states believe the candidates are who the voters think they are.

     Voters know which candidates are racists, nationalists, supremacists, political puppets, greedy, adulterers, liars, thieves and so on. Negative ad buys in October will not change their minds about candidate behavior and candidate history.

     Voters want to know how candidates plan to improve things. If I vote for a clown will I be able to get a mortgage loan, a decent job, affordable health care or be able to attend a sporting event in person.

      Candidates attacking each other can never get them closer to the people that cast ballots.

     As a sometimes consultant, I am well aware that campaigns have to prepare to deal with whatever. They have to deal with money issues, staffing issues, media issues and many more situations and circumstances.

     The candidates that don’t have anything good to say about themselves, their community or their political experience are the ones most likely to run negative advertising, speak in “dog whistles” or encourage foreign governments to produce and place negative advertising that the candidate can deny or disavow.

     Yes, it’s hard out here for pimps and politicians.

     Well, what’s the alternative for candidates that want to run positive campaigns? 

     Good candidates have personal money that they can put into a campaign. If you don’t want to invest in your own campaign, don’t beg me for money. Politicians that are broke or are in heavy debt can easily be compromised or bribed.

     Campaigns should be as diverse as the area you seek to represent. Don’t run a race in a Native American community when all of your campaign staff looks like Custer. And, if a white politician tells you he must hire a white staff because Blacks can’t produce and place broadcast ads, do graphics, , do polling, do printing, do catering, etc. be careful when you go to the polls.

      You already know, most candidates seeking to hire a Black staffer believe “any Negro will do” as long as they buck dance, head scratch, smile and shut up.

      In addition, candidates must know political timing. A political fool will use all resources they have on the weekend before an election. That’s CRAZY! If you don’t have an absentee ballot effort and a plan for early voting, that candidate will be dead way before election day.

      October is a very dirty month in the eyes of politicos. If a client asks me if they should go dirty. I suggest they do it no earlier than the last week before election day because the opponent may not have adequate time to respond to the trash talk.

     American politics is a big rich field, I just work in the poorest part. Positive or negative, I got to make it!