Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Vox explains why every election seems to have an 'October Surprise'

I have been ignoring "the caravan" this year, just as I only mentioned Clinton's emails only once two years ago.  That could only last so long, especially given Vos uploading Why every election gets its own crisis yesterday.

Trump’s fear mongering about a migrant caravan is a perfect example of how politicians’ exploit last-minute news stories to try to distract voters before a big election.
October is a tense month in American in politics. The closer a political campaign gets to election day, the more vulnerable it is to an “October Surprise” -- a late-breaking scandal or controversy that influences voters in the final days of an election.

“October Surprises” are typically thought of as unexpected events that surprise both sides of an election -- natural disasters, terrorist attacks, etc.. But more recently, it's come to describe an intentional campaign strategy, wherein political operatives exploit late-breaking news stories to try to damage their opponents at the last-minute.

Trump’s fixation on the migrant caravan traveling to the United States is a clear example of that strategy -- an attempt to shift the media’s attention away from issues like health care by fear mongering about immigrants.

It’s a cheap political ploy, and many news networks have recognized it as such. The problem is: there’s no great way to fight it.
Sigh.  I have to admit, I played into the fear in 2014, when I was all over Ebola.  At least I started in August, kept going after the election, and followed up in 2016 and 2017.  Besides, I have an excuse; I am a doomer blogger who covers pandemics.  I would have been derelict if I hadn't.  Speaking of which, there is an Ebola outbreak in Congo going on now.  I promise I'll get to it after I cover the election results.  In the meantime, here is the Phantom of the Opera as the Red Death, which I use as the personification of Ebola.


  1. Well, let's hope that it will be a bit harder to distract people now that Social Security and Medicare are threatened. If the "caravan" is the best October surprise they can come up with, they're losing their touch.

    By the way, there is already a personification of Ebola.

    1. Yes, those are real threats to Americans and I hope people are paying attention.

      I had a feeling you were referring to Ebola-chan. I only found out about her within the past year, but I've been referring to Ebola as "The Red Death" for four, so I'll stick to the classic instead of using that meme.