I took a work training about cybersecurity, and they spoke about double authorisations and the security questions that are asked, like your mother's maiden name. They suggested that we not choose questions that someone could find out about us by researching us, which makes sense, as it is possible to find out quite a lot these days. They suggested lying about the answers to the question.
That had never occurred to me. For people with a bit of OCD, claiming that my first car was of one sort when it actually was another just seemed wrong. Not so much dishonest, but the wrong answer. It would be like getting the capital of Azerbaijan wrong. There is a joke that antisocials and other liars should tell as much of the truth as possible, because it would be hard to remember what lies you told to which people. I can see the point of that. I would forget that I had made up an answer and be angry at my security answer not working.
Someone at Maggie's used the concept of "Reverse Cassandra," a person destined to be always believed but never right, tying it in to a particular issue. I think it was climate change, but I immediately thought it could apply to many issues. I don't mean things like astrology, which has many people who believe "there is something to it," but only a few who believe fervently. There are political issues that a solid group of people believe fervently, despite lack of evidence. More to the point, there are people who are believed no matter what they say.
There is rancor within parties in political debates now, and I am contrasting this to 2004. Howard Dean was winning, but most Democrats felt he could not win the national and needed to be taken out. It seemed easy enough, as he had some vulnerabilities, but some other candidate needed to go after him, and in that climate, they all believed it was not important to be seen as "going negative." Someone was going to have to take one for the team and destroy his own candidacy by going after Dean. Eventually, Dick Gephardt made the sacrifice. Dean went down, but so did he. Was 2004 unusual, or is our own era unusual? Has their been a consistent deterioration over time, or has there always been an ebb and flow? I am speaking only of arguments within parties, not of their comments about the other parties.
By the way, the myth has not died that Howard Dean's scream that year cost him a credible candidacy by showing him as weird or unstable. The yell was in fact after the Iowa Caucases in which he had just been badly beaten after looking solid a month before. He was trying to rally the troops with a sort of false energy, but only succeeded in looking ridiculous. The scream was an effect, not a cause; the cart, not the horse.