the optics of looking at a conveyor belt

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Senior Member
"Well, you know, the optics of looking at a conveyor belt with a bunch of packages coming versus the videos and the optics of what the border looks like and people being apprehended at the border, trucks being stopped..."

What does "the optics of" mean? "the optics" are often used to mean popular views, but I don't think this would fit in here.

source: How Do Illegal Drugs Cross The U.S.-Mexico Border?
  • pops91710

    Senior Member
    English, AE
    optics refers to how it appears to others. Bad optics are something that may appear embarrassing even though it really was something else completely.

    This photo was considered bad optics for Pres. Obama even though he meant nothing by it.
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