There's a bunch more. But you're missing the point. Defund or doing away with the police departments doesn't have to be true. It just has to leave the perspective that is what is happening in the voters mind.
When someone, swing voters, hear something, they're not going to do any research for the most part. If it sounds true, if it sounds plausible, they'll run with it.
I've been studying independents, swing voters, the non-affiliated very closely since 1992 working hard for Perot. We knew we wouldn't get many Republicans or democrats to vote for him. So we had to get the majority of independents at that time. We had to draft a message that appealed to them, that addressed their wants, their wishes and yes, their fears.
Even dropping out for a spell, Perot drew 30% of the independents vote, 17% of the Republican vote and 13% of the democratic voters. Total 19% of the electorate.
There are certain words that catch a voters attention. Use those words in the right way, in a way that makes your candidate look good while making the other candidates look like they're for something that isn't popular, you get ahead in the political and election game. The word or slogan doesn't have to be 100% true. But true enough for those who don't research into the full statement, context of the statement, etc. it is believable to them.
I'm dealing with PERSPECTIVES of the voters, swing voters in particular. Not facts, not absolute truth, but perspectives that if molded right win elections. This you don't understand. You understand defund the police didn't mean what it says. I do too. But that is irrelevant to what this mass of non-affiliated, swing voters, independents, coach potatoes, those who don't follow politics on a daily basis, probably not even on a weekly or monthly basis. Just when an election nears, they'll go with what sound plausible, possible, not what is.
So an election strategist will see a poll that says only 19% of all Americans support defund the police, 60% oppose it. They'll see another that says 50% support making reforms to the way police do their business, 45% don't. It's a no brainier to use defund the police to tar your opponent instead of reform. In that instant Democratic candidates came out in support of the slogan defund the police, meaning reform, but saying defund. Words mean things, to a lot of these coach potato voters, defund means defund, reform means reform. It's quite simple. Especially when one knows there'll be no research done, just taking what is said and run with it.
I don't think you understand how that works. You know defund the police didn't mean doing away with the police. But you're a political junkie. Independents aren't, they're more interested if the Braves won last night, who won American Idol, taking care of family, making ends meet etc. they're even thinking about politics. But these people vote and if you can mold their perspectives, you can get their vote.
As a political strategist trying to win elections, I'm not worried about you, I'm not going to try to make the base of either party change their minds and vote for my candidate. That is a total waste of time. But I'm going after the swing voter, the couch potato, the non-affiliated, those who don't pay much if any attention to politics at all. I can convince them that defund means defund, I can't convince you. But you are irrelevant to my campaign strategy anyway. You aren't targeted. Swing voters are. I say defund to them, they see these democratic mayors cutting police funds, it then makes it very easy for a political strategist to make them believe the democrats want to do away with the police. There's a grain of truth there, not the whole truth, maybe not even 10% or 20%, but enough to bend their perspective into believing it.
Way too long winded. Why do myths last and last, mainly because there's a grain of truth somewhere in them. Maybe just one grain in a beach full of sand, but that grain lasts and lasts. Whatever a strategist uses, it has to have enough truth behind it to be believable to the targeted voter. The rest of all the voters are totally irrelevant. You don't care one iota about them.