What is your opinion of the Presidential Contenders? Do you “despise” one Presidential contender over another? Do you believe that one or even both of the Presidential contenders are likely corrupt? Then it is quite possible that your opinion may be corrupted, and media outlet(s) may be to blame. Let me explain . . .
If you have read my many posted articles, you may remember we have Primal (adrenaline-driven) Aggression and Cognitive (intent-driven) Aggression. Cognitive Aggressors consciously and deliberately will, with malicious aforethought, cast aspersion on their victims by suggesting that one candidate is not worthy of your trust and therefore must be ignored no matter how valuable that candidate may be to you. We humans tend to consider our future prospects in the negative, this is a perspective that dates back to our very beginnings as a survival mechanism to protect us from predators. Therefore, it is not a difficult task for our media outlets to convince us that there are dangers and threats (real or imagined) that lurk within the messages given by one candidate over another. Often, we respond to these proposed media described threats by rejecting any message from their targeted candidate. I will illustrate . . .
Let me offer a parallel to what is happening with today’s media. Our Center for Aggression Management’s Aggression Continuum has a baseline and nine stages of Cognitive (intent-driven) Aggression. At the fourth Stage of our Cognitive Aggression Continuum we have what we call, “Planting the Seed of Distrust.” Here the aggressor uses “covert” strategies to reach out to a victim’s community (constituents) with the intention of convincing these supporters that the victim (the Presidential Candidate) cannot be trusted. This kind of aggressive behavior is very effective and is too often common practice across our nation in most every corporation, institution, and organization, and now we can see it in full display by both parties and our media outlets in this year’s election.
At our Cognitive Aggression Continuum’s Stage 5, the aggressor becomes “overt” and officially pronounces his opponent as incompetent, corrupt, and thus unfit for office.
At our Cognitive Aggression Continuum’s Stage 6, aggressors claim their victim (Presidential Candidate) will severely harm you and your loved ones. Can you see the progression?
Finally, in the extreme of our Cognitive Aggression Continuum’s Stages 7, 8 and 9, what we refer to as the Crisis Phase of our Aggression Continuum, these aggressors will actually put themselves at risk of harm in order to undermine and squash their opponent’s point of view. This Cognitive Aggressive behavior can, and often does, bring physical and professional harm to their victim.
The ultimate expression of Cognitive Aggressive political maneuvering can be, and too often is, violence. The violent rioting that we see across our nation is a direct result of aggressive behavior of some who either feel dissatisfied or emboldened by our current Federal, State, and local governments. No, I am not suggesting that our politicians are advocating violence, but extremist organizations on both the right and the left use this aggressive rhetoric by politicians, amplified by the media, as justification for criminal mischief at minimum, and in the extreme, the destruction of property, looting and even murder. How can we reduce political Cognitive Aggression and the resulting violent behavior seen lately on our streets and in our neighborhoods? We must recognize this “aggressive behavior,” realize that aggressive behavior comes with precursors that enable us to get out in front of this malicious behavior and prevent it from occurring. What role are our media outlets playing in propagating this potential for violence?
Can you trust your media outlets to be truthful with you? All humans have biases; thus, all media outlets have biases, this is understood. Traditionally however, media outlets have their “news” sections and then they have their “opinions” sections. Whether newspaper, television, or social media outlets this separation has been the pillar of good journalism. Over the last number of years media has changed and changed dramatically. “Opinion” has crept into the “news” sections of our media outlets and today major media outlets have cast the rules of good journalism (reporting the news) to the four winds! Recently, and more dramatically, due to their biases, major media outlets have begun censoring legitimate and verified news articles. This is against all journalism ethics, including the principles of truthfulness, accuracy, objectivity, impartiality, fairness, and public accountability. This is shameful and un-American, and we must reject these obvious and deliberate attempts to manipulate us. They often accomplish this by lying to us via omission; deliberately removing elements of news to sway us toward their biases. News outlets are not supposed to be advertisement for one candidate or another. However, we have been lulled into a fear of threat posed by one candidate or the other brought upon us by one or more of today’s media outlet biases. This occurs far too easily because traditionally, in the past, we could trust our media outlets’ “news” reporting.
How can we protect ourselves from these biases? Start by recognizing the difference between “assertive” behavior and “aggressive” behavior. Assertive behavior says, “I am going to win by being the best that I can be!” Whereas, aggressive behavior says, “I am going to win, by taking you out!” Reject aggressive behavior! Identify assertive behavior and follow it.If you would like to know more about our scientifically reliable Critical Aggression Prevention System (CAPS) and our fully functional CAPS Mobile App here is a video that explains it.