Attention US politicians and their advertisers: SHUT THE FUCK UP. Don’t even bother advertising, you’re just wasting your money.
It’s political season in ‘Merica and we’re soon to be barraged by political advertisements. After being merely disdainful of them for many years, this year I have a firm rule: I’M NOT LISTENING. AT ALL. Doesn’t matter if it’s TV, radio, direct mail, or whatever. Can’t you spend your money on something else? Or don’t spend it at all. Campaign spending has been obscene for ages, and is only going to get worse.
It’s truly sad that political discourse has sunk this low. I don’t know why, except that the unwashed masses have become such shepherdless sheep that these ads work.
Let’s briefly consider ‘positive ads’. Politicians have become so risk-averse lest they alienate someone that their positive messages amount to, “I’m a patriotic American. I believe in motherhood and hug babies. I like puppies and kittens.” Ugh! Big fucking deal. The political consultants say that positive ads don’t work -no wonder, they’re content-free.
Secondly, negative ads. These, the unwashed masses apparently remember. But they usually don’t have any basis in fact or provide any useable information. They’re required to be literally true, but, unfortunately, literally true doesn’t have any meaning in the context of political ads. Quoting something out of context is fair game. It’s still true, right? One of my favorites (from a prior year, since I’m purposely ignoring this year’s ads) was a mailing from someone that had a quote from a newspaper, (paraphrased,) “He’s a good guy”. Actually, the newspaper was endorsing the other candidate, and the newspaper actually said (paraphrased again,) “He’s a good guy, but we wouldn’t even consider voting for him if he was the last candidate on earth.”
And there’s the gambit of straw men, or implying that an opponent said something, then attacking them for the implication. Sorry, get a fucking life, I’m NOT buying it.
Incumbents always have the option of voting both ways – knowing that something won’t pass, they’ll vote yes on a meaningless preliminary vote, and no on the main measure. Or they’ll vote the opposite way on the main vote, again, with the foreknowledge that the vote will go the other way – all in the hope of securing a favorable rating from some interest group.
This sucks because this politician has proven to be a spineless fuck! They are thinking – How can I play this to help myself versus doing what is right for the majority of Americans?
In order to vote intelligently, I have followed many media outlets for a long time. I use ‘independent’ media and, to some extent, ‘interest groups’ to help tell me who I should vote for. All well knowing fully that the independent media still has an agenda, and the interest groups definitely have an agenda. The political ads are less than worthless.
Ultimately, I blame the shepherdless sheep, I guess. If you weren’t so clueless and impressionable we wouldn’t have this problem.
There is a brilliant video clip from the HBO show The Newsroom where Jeff Daniels, playing a television anchor, is on a discussion forum at a university. After a coed asks what makes the U. S. the greatest country on Earth, Daniels’ character Will McAvoy rips into her with a three-minute diatribe that says the only things that the U. S. is Number One in is number of persons incarcerated in prison, the number of people who believe angels exist and military spending (all correct, by the way). He then laments that we used to be a country that did good things and for the right reasons, to the utter silence of the auditorium.
So, fuck the masses and fuck the politicians too. Educate yourself before you vote.