Monday, July 16, 2012

Time to change the channel...

In general, I don't watch a lot of television, but this is the time of year when I tend to change the channel or turn the television off more times than not. I know I'm not alone in this assertion: political advertising drives me absolutely crazy.

With this being a presidential election year, campaign commercials will hit their zenith, because we'll have ads for presidential, congressional, and senatorial candidates. And here in Virginia, our gubernatorial election is held on an off year, so we get campaign commercials three out of every four years. And that's far too many smarmy voiceovers, instances of feigned outrage, and unfounded accusations for me to handle.

Neither party is blameless. Only in America can you negatively attack your opponent for their negative attacks on you. The more money we allow supposed "special interest groups" and SuperPACs to spend, the more commercials we'll continue to be subjected to.

Is there anything to really be learned from political advertising in this day and age?

Sadly, there are people in our world who don't have the exposure to other forms of news, who lack the ability, or the resources from which to draw their own opinions about a candidate or an issue. And these are the people to whom political commercials are directed. These are the people who believe what they hear, and vote accordingly.

Doesn't that frighten you?

Aren't you angered in the slightest when you hear an advertisement that alleges utter falsehoods, or buries the tiniest shred of truth in the midst of lies?

Can't we do better? Can't we call on our politicians and those within our political system and demand that, if they won't respect each other, they'll at least respect us and our intelligence? The more divided our world becomes ideologically, the worse this will become.

That's what I hope for. And I won't change the channel if I see it.

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