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The Hoarse Whisperer @HoarseWisperer
, 29 tweets, 6 min read Read on Twitter
Over the last few weeks, a ton of people have asked me why I am so harsh about any of several different people.

Bernie, Avenatti, Ocasio-Cortez, etc..

For those who truly want to know what's up with that, here's at least an attempt at a Twitter-length answer...

First, I view politics - and elections in particular - as highly strategic exercises.

They're complicated contests to put the candidates who can best help advance your interests in the best position to win.

They aren't sing-offs where two performers vie for a trophy.

They're chess matches that play out over long periods of time - and they both impact and are impacted by a hundred other chess matches.

What you do with your first 40 moves determines whether you get to checkmate on your 41st.

There are a ton of moving parts. The voting pop. in that district/race. Platform. Policy. Public opinion. Messaging. Etc..

Those variables all exist - and they can either be used to help win or they can be ignored...

...which is usually a recipe for losing.

Democrats got their clocks cleaned over and over btwn 2000-2016 because Repubs understood that a whole lot better than Dems.

They were better strategically about the wargame that is competitive politics.

One of the reasons: Dems are passionate; Repubs are mercenary.

Repubs engineer whatever strategy it takes to win.

Us Dems believe our candidates deserve to win - and then try to convince everyone of why that is...

We start with beliefs and passion and then try to wrap it in tactics and messaging.

The problem with strong emotions is that they're great for motivation but not great for decision-making.

Strong emotions can make people run through fire...

It's not great for making dispassionate, calculated decisions at a chess board about which pieces to move.

Whenever I'm being harshly critical in comments about the people I mentioned (or anyone else like them), the actual people aren't the things I'm railing against.

I'm railing against runaway emotions - or the potential for them. I'm fighting against feelings driving the bus.

Whether the catalyst is Sanders or Oprah or Avenatti or anyone in politics who people have strong emotions towards, it's not them I'm trying to knock down.

I'm trying to bat down the risk of strong feelings turning into a toxic, damaging force that eventually loses elections.
Here's a super-condensed allegory of what that looks like in storybook form...

These are all tweets from the same person. Not important who it is. It isn't about them OR Avenatti.

It's about the way emotion can kill reason and then poison the whole well.

In April, the person was tweeting admiringly about Avenatti...

...and in May...

...and in June...

...and then in July, I come strolling along and make a comment under a post on an MSNBC page.

...and then the person in the admiring tweets above replies by projecting onto Avenatti, Trump, etc. feelings they believe are facts.

Notice I didn't actually dish dirt on Avenatti. I didn't list out negatives or link to a negative article or dredge up opposition-like material on him.

I only said that if Trump really wanted to tarnish Avenatti, he'd be able to do it...

The reason for that is:

I don't actually want to tarnish Avenatti. I want him to succeed. I want him to keep doing the things he was doing early on - like using the legal process to provoke revelations about Trump, Cohen, et al.

If I wanted to tarnish him, I would have written some long, exhaustive thread about the kinds of negative things I know are out there because I've seen them, read them, gotten them in my DMs and been told them personally by people who have reached out.

That's the funny thing about all of this. Both sides see my railing against Fan Club Politics and strong, very quick emotional attachment to political figures as being opposed to those individual people.

Fans think I'm bashing. Detractors think I'm a hater too.

If that were the case, you'd see the same kind of receipt-heavy take down you see from me about every other subject... whether it's Carter Page or Manafort or Tad Devine or anyone else.

Notice I've written none of those about any of the people mentioned in the first post.

So, anyway, back to our story...

After criticizing Avenatti, the person who has been an admirer of his for a while now concluded that this could mean only one thing...

I'm a subversive rogue account that can't be trusted.

That's how confirmation bias and strong emotion work... They create the very strong belief that there is no way your very strong beliefs might be less than entirely true.

Contrary information becomes the enemy.

Inconvenient facts are the opposition.

After posting that "Watch out for Hoarse" tweet, the person got push-back (which was kind of y'all but not necessary... I appreciate it though).

Instead of swaying them... It actually deepened their confirmation bias.

"Something must be wrong when people disagree..."

...and while most people who responded are people who know me and my content - and thus were like "Uhhh, what?" there were others who weren't like that...

...and this is how it goes.

Strong emotion turns into blinders.

Blinders turn into outright rejection of opposing facts.

Rejection of opposing facts reinforces the blinders.

...and all of that leads to rejection of contrary voices, fracturing of the coalition and divisions among the base.

That's how you lose elections.

You start with some strong feelings.

You rev them up until they're red-lining.

You prompt a little friction between people with opposing views.

Then let the machine spin itself into a smoking, broken heap.

So, when you see me running amok about Avenatti or Ocasio-Cortez these days, it ain't about Avenatti or Ocasio-Cortez.

It's about what happens when admiration goes from a positive to a recipe for toxicity.

It's great to be passionate. It's great to like people in politics.

When that goes from being a feeling less powerful than reasoning and logic to being the driver of the bus though, that's a problem...

...and once that genie is out of the bottle, there's no putting it back.

Confirmation bias is a tattoo. It doesn't wash off.

Lastly, if I was driven by anything other than an extreme focus on winning the chess match of the midterms, I would touch none of this stuff.

If I was interested in 'likes', I wouldn't go near criticizing people whose popularity is rising.

People get super mad and hate it.

It has to be said though. I can't NOT say it...

We've got one chance to win in Nov.

We have to make the right moves the whole game or we'll lose.

Things that interfere with steely, clinical, strategic thinking increase the likelihood we'll lose.

We can't have that.

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