Thursday, October 4, 2012

Political Advertising ... Enough is enough!!!


We've reached the season that I despise with all of my heart.  I can't think of a time of the year that I hate more than now.  It is time for elections.  I HATE THIS TIME OF THE YEAR!!!  Can I make it any more clear how I feel?

This is the time of the year when every other commercial on television is a political ad.  Although I have a high level of disdain for politicians in general, I think it is the ads that I hate the most.  Having been in broadcasting for several years, I think I might know a thing or two about advertising.  The point of advertising is to talk about how great your product is.  You tell people about all of the great things that your product can do.  You tell viewers or listeners how your product is great at cleaning the floor, or how well it holds up to being filled to the brim, or how it can eliminate odors, or how good it tastes.

Political ads, on the other hand, are different.  They talk trash about the political opponent and then tell you not to vote for him or her.  Over the years, political ads have become more and more negative.  Both Obama and Romney air commercials that bash their opponent's record for 55 seconds, then, in the remaining 5 seconds of the commercial, tell you to vote for them.  

We've all seen them.  They start by saying "Candidate A voted to do a bad thing.  And candidate A said a bad word thirty five years ago when he was in college.  Then candidate A bought a foreign car instead of buying American.  And finally, candidate A wears ugly ties.  Vote for candidate B."  This kind of ad tells me nothing about candidate B's cars, or his ties.  It tells me nothing about how candidate B differs from candidate A.

One of the things that I particularly hate about these commercials is the fact that both campaigns seem to throw so called "facts" around that would be almost impossible for me to validate.  They expect me to just take their word for it and believe everything they say.  I can't think of anything that is dumber than to believe what a politician says.  That's like believing that a rattlesnake isn't going to bite you when you stick your hand into its nest.  

It's not just presidential candidates that do this.  Almost every politician runs negative ads about their opponent.  I wonder if they realize what this kind of behavior looks like to those of us that are not politicians.  Let's think about this for a second.  Parents always tell their kids to treat others with respect and don't say mean things about other people.  Yet, here are our two candidates for the most powerful position in the country, out there saying nasty and negative things about each other.  Nice example to set for the impressionable minds of the children of this country.

What I would love to see is a politician who can stand on his own strengths without having to tear down his opponent.  Here is my message to Obama, Romney, and all the other politicians out there.  Stop telling me how bad your opponent is, and start telling me how good you are.  I want to know what you have to offer this country, not what you think is wrong with the other guy.  Is there not a candidate out there who thinks that he is strong enough to stand on his own character and record without having to run negative ads that attack his or her opponent?  Politicians, tell me what you can do.  Can you clean the bathroom?  Great.  Tell me.  Can you pick up spills?  Great.  Let me know in a TV ad.  Tell me what good things you can do, and stop telling me what bad things your opponent has done.  Give me a reason to vote for you, not a reason to not vote for your opponent.

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