The poetic, playful and prophetic musings of quintessential voices trying to keep up with life

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Presidential Advertisements: A Public Display of How Screwed Up American Politics Are

A nice little video to introduce what I'm talking about.

This is a very important year, and we all know why.  Okay, the Olympics were also this year...Phelps, the Fierce Five, and a ton of other United States athletes kicked some serious butt...but that's already's time to move on.  It is a Presidential election year, and it seems that almost everyone has some sort of opinion about this year’s opponents.  I’m not going to lie, I hate politics.  I hate talking about politics, and I hate the current partisan system that we have in place.  Nothing gets done, because everyone just fights with each other and refuses to compromise.  Lately, however, what I really hate are political advertisements on T.V. 

Anyone from Iowa knows that these ads are especially bad here, and it seems like they are taking up the majority of commercial time on the old telly.  Election year is the opposite of the Superbowl...nobody likes its commercials.  They are annoying...all of them, Democrat and Republican…Romney and Obama…it doesn’t matter!  It's not just the sheer number of them and the amount of time they waste (I would much rather watch the commercial with the muderous dog that bribes a guy with a bag of Doritos to keep quiet), but the content of the ads really bothers me.

Presidential ads are straight-up attacks on each other.  They are glorified hissy-fits that the American public is forced to endure.  I might honestly fall over dead if I see a Presidential ad that actually talks about what the candidate is going to DO, and not what his opponent has done/will do wrong (I will admit that I JUST saw a commercial for Obama with President Clinton, and the former President talked about Obama's plans and only briefly mentioned the Republicans...but that is the ONE AND ONLY non-attack ad I have seen so far).  Yes, I understand that it is strategic to tear your opponent down and make him/her look worse than you, but this is getting a little ridiculous.  Let me put it this way: I would rather hang out with the Grinch AND a sea-sick crocodile than have to watch Obama and Romney rip at each other like a couple of bitchy highschool drama queens.  When less than FIVE SECONDS of your advertisement actually talks about what you are going to do right, how the hell do we, the average, uninformed American viewer know what your policies will be if you win?  And then the other guy is saying all of these horrible things about you…how are we supposed to process that?  I don’t even know what is true anymore.  Both sides claim to be relating “facts” to viewers, but those “facts” are always contradicting each other.  The American public should try to stay informed about the various candidates that they are supposed to be electing, and they should consider all of the pros and cons before putting an individual into a position of that much power.  That doesn’t mean all of the American public will be smart and sensible about choosing a President, however. 

These ads have more power and influence than people might think.  If you are completely ignorant to anything political, and do not keep up with what Obama and Romney are talking about or choosing to represent, these political ads are really a skewed source of information.  The hardcore followers of both sides are of course going to believe the advertisements their candidate puts out (and might put out some themselves) but what about the moderates?  The independents?  Those in favor of returning to a monarchy (we almost might as well, right?)?  What do these low-blow advertisements tell them?  Here is what they tell me:  Both candidates are going out of their ways to defame and undermine their opponent.  This makes me think they don’t want to take the time to actually say what it is they are going to do, or how they are going to make the country better.  Due to this, I am not comfortable voting for either candidate.  What do parents always tell a kid when he/she is fighting with another kid?  Be the bigger person. Don’t sink to their level.  Why do we let adult Presidential candidates get away with this behavior?

I can agree with policies from both sides, but it worries me when candidates for the Presidency, the highest and most powerful position in our country, are so willing to publicly snipe back and forth like children.  I’m sure my saying that will not make a lot of die-hard political followers happy, but really, is that how we want our country to be run?  Both candidates are qualified for the position, and either candidate could do a lot as President.  Honestly, though…I don’t know that I will vote for either of them.  I want a candidate who will take the high-road, and not sully himself by using low-blow tactics or by trying to ruin someone else just to win.  I want a candidate who can bring Democrats and Republicans together to work for the betterment of the United States, not someone who is going to feed into the major split in our government through negativity and harsh attacks.  Maybe I’m dreaming of a United States that can never be, because the system is so screwed up. 

The whole video is great...but wait for the last minute or so to see why it is relevant.  In a perfect world...*sigh*

I don’t know what is going to happen in November, but I hope that whoever wins does actually work to make the U.S. better.  One question will always bug me, though, as long as Presidential ads continue running the way they do:  Commercials are only about 30-60 seconds long…why waste so much time and money talking about the other guy? 

            What do you think?  Do these ads turn you off to the candidates and the electoral process…or do you think they are a completely legitimate form of campaigning?              

I'm Erin Broich, and I approve this message.

1 comment:

  1. I don’t think it is a legitimate form of campaigning at all. All these attack ads do is try to make the other look like he is worse than this guy, when in fact, they are both going to be about the same. I have it kind of nice because I work nights at Dish and barely ever watch any live television, but that doesn’t usually mean the same for my family. If they were actually informative on the candidate they are supporting instead of attacking I think would be a better use of the money. My wife and I went to the extreme basically removing live television from the house, at least when we record the shows we can use the Autohop feature on my Hopper to skip the commercials entirely so I don’t have to answer questions from my kid like “Why is that man wanting to take grandma’s wheelchair away?” or something odd like that. I agree the system we have is a little dysfunctional (sarcasm) but I think we can fix it, at some point.


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