Negativity and Fear Work Well in Elections Campaigns

As Russia is going for elections, the star campaigner Vladimir Putin is using anti-American rhetorics to refresh and re-regenerate false nationalism by spreading negativity and hatred. The same is true during elections in India to use anti-Pakistan and anti-China slogans and vice-versa. Kudos to our politicians!

Negativity and Fear Work Well in Elections Campaigns
Negativity and Fear Work Well in Elections Campaigns

Elections is an important but complex process of democracy. However, a common trend is observed globally that politicians use and spread negativity and fear to generate false nationalism. American candidates us all sort of anti-Russia and anti-Communist comments during American elections. Similarly, Vladimir Putin who aims to win Russian Presidential elections, is using all sort of negative words against US to unite Russians under false nationalism by creating and promoting hatred.

The same is very true in India and Pakistan. In both groups, the bashing of the opposing country takes the center stage of the election manifesto. However, the level of effectiveness between the nations in each group is not same. 

In Russia, anti-US sentiments run deep! This has to do with their feelings that US is responsible for the collapse of Soviet Union. Putin still dreams of unifying the breakaway states of Soviet, but accuses the United States of acting as a buffer against his endeavor.

  • If the accusation of Kremlin’s hand in the outcome of US Presidential election is even partially correct, it has to do with Putin’s attempt to stop America meddling in Russia’s affair
  • Donald Trump with strong connection with Eastern Europe helped
  • Russia has been lucky that Trump scraped through in the last Presidential election

Russian elections are not hard fought like many other democracies such as US and Western European democracies. Still, to hide the economic and strategic failure of Russian government, Putin uses anti-American slogans. It works wonder, as the tapering end of the Cold War rivalry is not forgotten in Russia yet.

In United States, too, anti-Russian rhetoric is used in elections, but at a lesser extent. The purview of its impact is also smaller in United States compared to Russia.

  • United States is too big and too proud to be restricted with Russia only
  • It has many adversaries such as North Korea, ISIS, or even China, where Russia is a second fiddle enemy
  • People of United States like to live in present and future, rather than in the past

Similarly between India and Pakistan, Pakistan’s need for enmity with India is more than India’s with Pakistan

  • Pakistan has broken away from India, rather than vice versa that provided a need for them to justify the same
  • If Pakistan becomes goody with India, people can question the need for a separate Pakistan
  • Pakistan being a smaller and less prosperous nation, has to desire to beat India more than the reverse
  • Kashmir is an issue closer to the heart of Pakistanis than to Indians

Thus, anti-India is issue is very potent with almost every party using in effectiveness.

India, on the other hand, is much bigger and diverse to accept Pakistan as an important issue in their electoral demands. Unlike in Pakistan, except Bengal and Punjab, no other Indian provinces have been affected during partition. Thus, recall of Pakistan during election time in India is lesser than her neighbor.

  • Modi did not win election because of Pakistan issues, but because people were fed up with scams and corruption issues of the previous government as also economic promises made by BJP
  • Modi tried to use Pakistan in the post election period with limited effect when he gave up on that