In my Mass Media class we read about political campaigns and the changes that have taken place. More fitting, we read about the effectiveness, or lack thereof, of negative advertisements. Then, we wrote about it.
Here is what I said:
“I have to say, I am very happy and excited to be able to express my opinion on this matter–especially considering the current election period in Florida.
Negative political advertisements are, for lack of a better word, annoying. They are just as annoying as the thousands of signs put out by polling stations and the sporadic push poll phone calls made by PR specialists. Whose bright idea was it to turn telemarketers into political PRs anyway? It only makes me want to stop answering my phone if I don’t recognise the number–which is a hard decision for me considering the amount of important unidentified phone calls I get from Jamaica on a regular basis. At the very least, it does not encourage me to support any of the candidates, let alone participate in the election.
These things debase the candidacy and the entire political campaign, in my opinion. How can political advertising even remotely be equated to product advertising? Since when is running for governor the same as choosing which shampoo to use on my dog’s hair? Only ignorant, naive or uninterested people can really be swayed from a simple phone call or 2-minute commercial; so how effective can the methods really be? If I really wanted to find out about a candidate’s goods and bads there are much more efficient ways for me to do so than waiting around on the opponent to put out an “informative” hate ad.
Although propaganda has long been a method of swaying public opinion, negative commercials on television take it way too far. You are running for President of the United States, not head cheerleader. (Leave all that nonsense for people with nothing better to do.) That form of campaigning does less of accurately informing the public and more of trying to see who is the most popular and willing to stoop the lowest. But a presidential election is not supposed to be based on popularity and ability to “connect” with the public, it should be based on the merit of the individual running and on his or her governmental policies solely. So what if Romney is a Mormon, or Lincoln is awkward and Taft is fat? They could end up being the best president we have ever had; meanwhile you are a handsome anglo-saxon protestant idiot who won the election only because you exploited the image of your opponent through the use of false judgement. (Oh crap, I won. Now what?)
Simply put, telling me that John believes in racial segregation does not tell me what you believe. It only undermines your campaign and more accurately tells me that you are inherently unprofessional and therefore not fit to serve in a political office.
Taliban Dan… Really?
I wish there was a way to go back to the traditional methods where information was only available through reading articles or listening to debates. This whole rat-race phenomenon–congruent to the “mean girl” rallying up high school popularity votes–is ridiculous.
Politicians need to get it together.”
Political debates are where politicians should fight it out. Not in between episodes of Hannah Montana.