A “demon sheep” is a sinister politician who pretends to be what he is not; related to the RINO species, according to Samuel Jacobs.
The term comes a widely-mocked political ad run by 2010 California U.S. Senate candidate Carly Fiorina (R) which described her primary opponent as a “FCINO” (Fiscal Conservative In Name Only). He was portrayed as not just a wolf, but a demon with glowing eyes, in sheep’s clothing.
The sheep was meant to represent Fiorina’s opponent, Tom Campbell, whom the ad portrayed as a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
The term “demon sheep” has since become a widely recognized political meme, used to describe any type of political attack or smear campaign that is seen as particularly outrageous or over-the-top.
The phrase has been used in a variety of contexts, from political advertising to social media posts, and has become a shorthand way of referring to the use of fear-mongering or sensationalist tactics in politics.
The original “demon sheep” ad was widely criticized for its bizarre and over-the-top imagery, which many observers felt detracted from the substance of the campaign.
Some critics accused Fiorina of using the ad as a distraction from her own record and policy positions, while others argued that the ad was offensive and disrespectful to the voters.
Despite the controversy, the “demon sheep” ad did have a significant impact on the race. Fiorina went on to win the Republican primary, and eventually lost the general election to incumbent Senator Barbara Boxer.
The ad also spawned a number of parodies and spoofs, which helped to further cement its place in political lore.
In the years since the original “demon sheep” ad aired, the term has been used to describe a wide range of political attacks and smear campaigns.
Some examples include ads that feature ominous music and dark lighting, or that use exaggerated or distorted imagery to vilify a candidate or issue.
Other examples might include social media posts that use sensationalist or fear-mongering language to promote a particular agenda or viewpoint.
Examples of “demon sheep” in a sentence:
- Some political commentators have accused candidates of using “demon sheep” tactics in their attack ads in order to distract from their own policy positions.
- The term “demon sheep” has become a widely recognized political meme, used to describe any type of fear-mongering or sensationalist tactics used in politics.