October 25, 2010
If you're in a state with contested congressional or gubernatorial seats (ie, nearly all of us living in the US), and unless you don't own a TV, you've been bombarded with political ads. BOMBARDED. I'm not exaggerating.
One of my facebook friends posted today that total spending on political campaigns by outside groups in midterm election in 2002 was $31,000,000; in 2010 - $385,000,000. So no, it's not your imagination; you ARE seeing that many ads.
I understand that with all of the information (and DISinformation) out there the candidates feel the need to inform the public about their policies and ideology, and that the best way to do this still is televison. What I don't understand is why every candidate has been reduced to muckraking.
Seriously - WHO does this work for? I have never spoken or met a person that loves these ads, or whose opinion was swayed by a negative campaign. In fact, I'd be willing to bet that the negative campaigns actually work in the opposite way - that former supporters are so disgusted with the way their favored candidate is behaving that they either vote the other way or don't vote at all. And we can't have that happen!
My husby Brian and I are so sick of these stupid ads that we've resorted to muting every single one of them, regardless of political party. And it's pretty funny what these ads look like when it's just the images and no sound! Most of them appear to be for the other candidate because they use their opponents' names so often in their ads! I love how they find the most unflattering photos of their opponents, too. Mouth agape, chimp-like stares, furrowed brows - it's almost theatrical.
I'm not going to get into who I personally am voting for - I kick it "old skool" and still believe that it's a personal issue and one that I won't discuss with others for fear of putting them on the defensive (if you know me well, then you know how I feel about most issues). Alas, I think I'm one of the last holdouts of this philosophy. I feel the same way about religion.
I wish I had some ideas about how to put this sort of campaigning to rest. I haven't a clue how to fix it. But maybe after this election is over (it's too late for this one), if we all rally and let our elected officials know how we feel about being subjected to these ads, the tide will turn. We can only hope.