Election 2020 Persuasion politics


As the 2020 campaign heats up, many Republicans are unleashing a salvo of attacks against Joe Biden’s mental health. Some conservatives, like James Woods, have already diagnosed Biden with dementia.

Republicans should temporarily cease-fire.

Yes, Biden appears to have lost his fastball, but a full-frontal attack on Biden’s mental health is risky. Publicly harpooning Biden’s cognitive functions carries the risk of appearing cruel, especially to elderly voters.

Bring in the engineered persuasion.

Instead of a full-frontal attack, Republicans should hint at Biden’s decline through indirect attacks. For example, consider Scott Adams’s nuclear-grade label, #HollowJoe. It’s a damning, but strategically ambiguous. It suggests there’s a problem, but allows the listener to fill in the blanks as to why Biden is an empty suit. A+ persuasion!

Sometimes suggesting there’s a problem is more effective then pointing it out. If history is any guide, chances are there will be plenty of Biden gaffs to come. If Team #MAGA is smart, they’ll capitalize on these gaffs while minimizing the risk of appearing callous.