I didn’t think the political campaign ads on TV could stoop any lower, but once again I have been proved wrong. The TV ads for the candidates that are running for congress where I live have been slinging mud back and forth for the last month. If one is to believe one ad that attacks a particular candidate, he has stolen more money than there is in Fort Knox.
But what is really sad is that these ads do a disservice to those of us who are going to vote this November. The real issues are not covered and we are left with a lack of substance in which to make an intelligent decision. In a recent article I read it stated that:
Level the playing field. Don’t make election popularity largely a matter of which candidate hires the most creative and effective propagandists. Insist that it be, instead, a running conversation with the public.
It would cost less, and the candidates might actually choose to spend fewer dollars if all they could do was talk to us. And instead of cleverly engineered negative ads snidely attacking other candidates, if they wanted to sling mud at an opponent, they’d have to look us in the eye and speak the words.
It might tone down some of the antagonistic rhetoric as well. Civility during elections could even promote a greater willingness from our elected officials to adopt a more bipartisan problem-solving approach.
I suppose the election cycles would be less interesting TV for us at home, but I suspect it would keep the issues and the candidates’ ability to express their ideas about their differences and similarities front and center.
Certainly, the question of whether campaign finance reform is needed would remain. But perhaps the ads, whatever the play cycle, would be a truer reflection of the candidates and their positions.
Though I am reluctant to support a law that would require honesty in political campaign ads, I do not know any other solution to the problem.
What do you think?