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Old 11-05-2006, 01:56 AM   #1
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Political Campaigning Is Hurting America

The midterm elections are this week. I live in Ohio. Therefore, I have been bombarded with an incredible amount of political commericals in the past two or so months. I hate these commercials. I find them to be offensive and disheartening.

Offensive in that they're hurting America. The political system in the wealthiest, most powerful country in the world has been reduced to grown men(and women) trading insults with each other over the airwaves in the same way that eight year olds trade insults with each other on the playground. Only, it's infinitely worse than that because eight year olds aren't pretending to be doing something else while they're insulting each other.

Being in Ohio, the ads I've seen the most of have been those conerning the Mike DeWine/Sherrod Brown U.S. Senatorial race. I see a DeWine ad that consists of DeWine talking to us about social security and taxes and how's looking out for us, and then a two-second video of DeWine gathering his wife, children, grandchildren, siblings, their children, other family, dogs, goldifsh, and more in front of his very scenic house for a 'one big happy family' photo. 'I'm Mike DeWine and I approve this message'.

Then I see a Brown ad that consists of 'the more we get together the happier we'll be' being played over a photo of DeWine and GWB both looking mentally unstable while the voiceover reads DeWine the riot act: "Mike DeWine did this, Mike DeWine voted against/for this, Mike DeWine supported this issue and/or person, Mike DeWine can't be trusted, Mike DeWine should be fed to a firing squad, etc". Come to think of it, this might've been a 'paid-for-by-the Democratic Party' commerical rather than a Brown commercial, but if it was, let's not be naive and think Brown didn't know all about it.

Then I see another DeWine ad that consists of a few old ladies lamenting about how they 'just can't trust' Sherrod Brown, and acting all old-lady pissy and everything. "I'm Mike DeWine and I approve this message."

Then I see another Brown ad that consists of a voiceover covering all the horrible unforgivable things Mike DeWine has done, with doomsday music the background, followed by a sudden change to a voiceover telling us how Sherrod Brown is our guardian angel, living to protect us from all the evils that this big wide world may offer, with the music changing from 'doomsday' to 'the angelic theme of Sherrod Brown'. "I'm Sherrod Brown and I approve this message."

Then I see yet another DeWine ad that consists of the sister of a guy who was killed in Iraq telling us about how she has never met a man with more integrity or compassion than Mike DeWine and then, in my favorite part, she addresses Brown directly and tells him how 'we' have a senator who cares about us and tells the truth', and then, in an attempt at being clever, finishes with 'and his name is Mike DeWine'. "I'm Mike DeWine and I approve this message."

Then I see still another Brown ad that consists of U.S. Senator John Glenn supporting Brown, telling us about how Brown won't take a dime of health benefits from Congress until every Ohioan has coverage. "The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is responsible for the content of this advertisement."

And then I stick a needle in my eye to ease the pain.

And that's just one campaign. It's the same with the other Sentatorial campagins and Congressional campaigns. Even the lesser offices - i.e. State Treasurer's office, City Commissioner - have people vying for them as though they were running for President.

When I'm through watching these ads, the only think they've convinced me of is that both of these guys are just disingenious bullshit artists, and that you can't believe a word that comes out of either of their mouths. It has NOTHING to do with any of the things they talk about in their ads. It has NOTHING to do with bettering the country or the people living in it. It has EVERYTHING to do with massaging their own egos in pursuit of power and money. It has EVERYTHING to do with winning. Their job isn't to vote for this bill or that, to support this issue or that one; it's to win and to throw as much bullshit out there as is needed to do so.

I know I'm not telling you anything you didn't already know, but I just felt the need to vent. Because I feel like this system of bullshit politics is hurting America. There's nothing real about it. It's all a show, and ESPECIALLY during election season, the ads are all for show. Furthermore, the reality is that that show(the Ads) is aimed at a very slim percentage of the population - those who will vote but are as-of-now undecided, and I firmly believe that those people who are actually persuaded by 'one big happy family' photos, doomsday music/angel music dynamics, 'ordinary people' being used to spoonfeed us unconvincing rhetoric, heavy-voiced riot act voiceovers, or politicians' direct, overly contrived attempts at appearing wholesome and moral and pure, shouldn't even be allowed to vote.

I realize that's a very undemocratic thing to say, but I honestly believe that people who vote for ANY candidate for the wrong reasons are just as big a part of the problem as the politicians that bludgeon us with bullshit. I can't tell you how often I would read on the internet, during the last Presidential election, about people who decided who to vote for based on who they would rather have a drink with, and I can't tell you how disturbing that is.

And I can't tell you how disheartening it is know that no matter how bad the onslaught of ads has been this midterm election season, and no matter how relieved I am that it's over in a few days - and believe me, it was very bad and I am very relieved - that it was nothing, absolutely nothing, compared to what it's going to be like two years from now, when instead of Senatorial and Congressional campaigns, it's Hilary/Kerry/Obama vs McCain/Guliani/whoever.

Rant over.
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Old 11-05-2006, 02:08 AM   #2
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I was actually got to post something similar to this. I cannot believe how DIRTY and ATTACKING the politics are. I am so surprised that political ads can actually attack opponants. Also why would you have an ad attacking an opponant rather then a whole ad on what you can bring to the table.

Here in australia, no politician doesn't have dirt on their hands, but the ferociousness of the attacks between politicans in the states is amazing, and frankly pathetic!

We had a news story last night on local radio about how 90% of ads for the election in the states are attack ads, with a lot using sexual innuendos and unproven allegations to sell their message, and thats not right.

No wonder people don't want to go into politics. EVRYTHING about you is scrutinised and twsited to fit an argument against you - its a horrible thing to see I feel sorry for you all!
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Old 11-05-2006, 02:17 AM   #3
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Couldn't agree with you more. I wish there would be limitations as to what you could say in those commercials. State your stance on the issue and let the man with the better plan win.
We're getting some pretty awful ads in Florida too, with the same doomsday music for the evil candidate and the bright chipper music for advertiser. It's a nice little Pavlov experiment.
But sadly, I guess this is what the majority want. They want to see a public spectacle, a modern day pillory to determine who's going to be the best at not keeping their promises.
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Old 11-05-2006, 02:21 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by dazzlingamy
Also why would you have an ad attacking an opponant rather then a whole ad on what you can bring to the table.
Why run attack ads? It's very simple. Because they work.


And namkcuR -- I have an easy way to ease your pain. Turn off the tv. Works like a charm.
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Old 11-05-2006, 02:23 AM   #5
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Originally posted by indra
And namkcuR -- I have an easy way to ease your pain. Turn off the tv. Works like a charm.
They're commercials. They air DURING programs that I DO want to watch. I can't turn the TV off. I can mute the TV when the commercials come on, and I do, but that doesn't stop me from seeing them.
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Old 11-05-2006, 02:27 AM   #6
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Well thats VERY scary if people are that swayed by vindictive see you next tuesday-y political candidates and vote for them.

Are people that stupid?
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Old 11-05-2006, 02:32 AM   #7
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Originally posted by dazzlingamy
Well thats VERY scary if people are that swayed by vindictive see you next tuesday-y political candidates and vote for them.

Are people that stupid?
Yes.

Unless you go out of your way to research the candidates on your own, you'll be voting based on who has the best attack ad.
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Old 11-05-2006, 02:35 AM   #8
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No wonder politics are so screwed. It just seems such an ineffective and uninformative way to secure a governers position. YOu got there because your candidate called a sex line 15 years ago one night? Have some pride!
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Old 11-05-2006, 02:36 AM   #9
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Damn the media. I suggest politicians may only address the public in person, by radio, or ride from town to town, on horseback, to deliver their message to the people in each borough's town square.

The White House Press Corps, as well as the teams of reporters traveling with senate/congressional candidates, will be replaced by one man for each team, with round spectacles and a telegraph machine. This will require the significant re-investment in America's telegraph lines, but in the end it will bring us closer as a society. Reports will be unbiased and succinct. STOP

Also, we will remove our international ties with other nations, and return to America's most Godly ambition - invading Cuba.
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Old 11-05-2006, 02:51 AM   #10
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Also, we will remove our international ties with other nations, and return to America's most Godly ambition - invading Cuba.
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Old 11-05-2006, 03:17 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by dazzlingamy
I was actually got to post something similar to this. I cannot believe how DIRTY and ATTACKING the politics are. I am so surprised that political ads can actually attack opponants. Also why would you have an ad attacking an opponant rather then a whole ad on what you can bring to the table.

I'm glad you started this thread namkcuR. I ahte the ads, and I just tune them out when they are on, or fast forward if I have that option.

I agree with you as well dazzlingamy

Quote:
Originally posted by PlaTheGreat

Couldn't agree with you more. I wish there would be limitations as to what you could say in those commercials. State your stance on the issue and let the man with the better plan win


I was discussing this with a friend recently as to why it's allowed that you can attack your opponent and twist the truth to fit your needs in these ads instead of just stating who you are and your position on the issues. And I was wondering when all this negative advertising actually began. It has to STOP. It turns so many people off to politics and voting, and this is the time when we need the people to speak up the most, and hopefully with a semi-informed decision - not to vote based on the fact that someone once attended a Super Bowl party with a LOT of other people

Bill Maher brought this up last night on 'Real Time With Bill Maher' (HBO) stating we should outlaw all the political advertising. It was near the end with 'New Rules', but the latest rules are not posted on his site for a few days, or I'd post his rant about it here as well...
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Old 11-05-2006, 03:28 AM   #12
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Originally posted by PlaTheGreat


We'll have a coffee in Havana, Pla.
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Old 11-05-2006, 04:55 AM   #13
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Originally posted by namkcuR


They're commercials. They air DURING programs that I DO want to watch. I can't turn the TV off. I can mute the TV when the commercials come on, and I do, but that doesn't stop me from seeing them.
Actually I meant to turn off the tv entirely, not just during commercials. In a few weeks you'd be surprised how little you miss it.

Or maybe I'm just weird.
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Old 11-05-2006, 05:28 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by indra


Actually I meant to turn off the tv entirely, not just during commercials. In a few weeks you'd be surprised how little you miss it.

Or maybe I'm just weird.
I'd miss it. Big time. There are at least ten shows I watch weekly.

But that's another thread.
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Old 11-05-2006, 09:47 AM   #15
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The main thing that frustrates me is the people who fall for the ads. If people would educate themselves and see through the ads, the ads wouldn't even exist!

So what's the real problem, the people or the politicians?


I'd say both.
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