A Pandemic of Political Ads
My fellow Americans, how sick are you of the latest pandemic? No, not the flu, COVID or Monkeypox. I’m talking about the rash of political ads that, like a rabid half-starved racoon, won’t let us be. Don’t waste your time toggling. They’re everywhere.
Sometimes the viewer is afflicted with the same grating commercial back-to-back—a case of cruel and unusual punishment if ever there was one.
How queasy do these screeds make you?
- Screaming at the screen seasick
- Like eating a bowl of Wasabi ice cream
- Bilious enough to turn off the TV, un-American as that may be
It would be one thing if they were half true or even a teensy-weensy bit informative. Most of them are not even about the purveyor’s preferred candidate, of course. They are about how despicable, dangerous, detestable, duplicitous the other pol is. If she is elected, kiss civilization as we know it goodbye.
In the event you have obliterated your three TVs with a sledgehammer, here’s what you’ve been missing of late. This candidate apparently supports including fentanyl in school lunches. The other one regularly sidles up to the express checkout lane with a cart overflowing with groceries.
Some are tarred with the company they keep, whether the former president, Nancy Pelosi or Count Dracula.
Even the rare “positive” ads are ridiculous. One aspirant here in Connecticut is supported by his daughters and his wife. Now that’s a low bar. Of course, his opponent insists that if this family man is elected, our world will never be the same again. Start stocking your larder.
My takeaway from this collective and continuing assault on our senses and sensibilities is that we should vote for write-in candidates, almost anyone will do. How about Freddy Krueger? At least we know where he stands (on Elm Street). Plus, he’d be great at slashing budgets.
To be deadly serious for a moment: what is most disturbing about these advertisements is what they say about us. They assume that we are not well informed and that the only way to get our attention or to motivate us to vote is to go straight to Crazy Town. It’s us versus them. Vote for me or all is lost.
These ads are emblematic of a race to the bottom, to a permanently and overly partisan nation. As Abraham Lincoln put it 164 years ago: “A house divided against itself cannot stand.”
It’s time to see some ads that address that issue.