A Bit 'o Random Musings on Politics, Religion, and Anything Else That Passes Through My Crazy Head

Monday, November 4, 2013


Poll - aways the same
Anti Anti Anti - no acclaim!
Now, who is to blame?

Every election season, I'm reminded of how singularly uninformative modern political campaigns are. Watching political ads provides me with no information to help me make a wise decision about for whom to vote.  This is nothing new, I'm sure there wasn't a whole lot of high-minded debate in the election days of Jefferson and Washington (there was, however, considerably more whiskey involved). Even if it's not a new phenomenon, it's an irksome one.

Campaigns from both sides race all over themselves to be against the other side. I wouldn't be surprised to turn on the TV and see "Candidate A wants to kill puppies, but Candidate B supports those loyal, true, middle-class American canines.  Elect Candidate B to keep America's kennels safe and secure! (Followed by, "I'm Candidate B, and I approve this message because I love Dogs. And America)"

The positive ads are no better at providing useful information.  "I'm Candidate A, and I'll work with both parties to create jobs and grow our economy." (Roll footage of Candidate A and a very telegenic family walking down a typical American street, and/or footage of Candidate A talking with furrowed brow to a multi-racial group of Ordinary Americans).

I think it's easy to blame the candidates, but really they are just doing what works. Negative advertising is used every election cycle, and the positive pablum that is served up is easily condensed into thirty second sound bites.  It's easy to blame voters, but who else are we to vote for?  If every candidate is using the same techniques, we can't really vote for the substantive candidate.  I can easily choose to blame the media, but they are just providing what the public wants.  Who can we blame?  But more importantly, how do we fix it? There's always this suggestion:

One thing I'm sometimes in favor of at this time of year is a shorter election season. If we can't fix the tone of the debate, maybe we can shorten it?  On the other hand, that favors those who already have name recognition rather than ordinary Joes. All I know is that I am anti-anti - I'm against all the negative campaign ads.  I don't know how to get rid of them, other than to never watch TV or listen to the radio while there's an election going on.

1 comment:

  1. I'm always so glad when November is over. I hate the commercials, the phone calls, and the news' thinly veiled stomping for candidates. It all goes away for awhile and then the primaries start up. This year it was really quiet in my neck of the woods and it felt good.