Sadly, I think they're right.
They render issues irrelevant and convert campaigns into cultural wars and personality referenda. They converted our elections into tawdry reality shows long before networks realized their entertainment value.
Democrats seems shocked and paralyzed by all of this and desperately delude themselves into believing that mean-spirited "negativity" and nastiness will alienate voters
It is quite possible that enough Americans this year are so alienated from the GOP brand that they are now largely immune from these kinds of substance-free personality assaults, that they won't be blinded by cultural tribalism and personality appeals into handing this political party an additional four years of power. But these tactics have worked in the past because cultural tribalism, resentment and alienation are very powerful influences in how people think -- in general, they're more powerful than rational assessments of policy positions or even one's self-interest