Political ads turning off votersPublished 2:32am Wednesday, October 27, 2010
The American public has made it quite clear: It doesn’t want to hear or see the negative ads this election.
And it it’s not just this election — every fall, the consistent smear campaigns infiltrate our televisions and radios. It seems like it starts earlier every year. One recent Zogby poll event revealed that the majority of voters believe the political ads are more negative than in years past, although that is up for interpretation, since people say that every election season.
In the spirit of competition, ads can be a good thing. They put a face with a candidate, and give him or her the opportunity to show personality and reach out to the public. Unfortunately, some voters only base their decisions on what they learn from those ads, which can be misleading and even incorrect.
Local ads that come to mind are from Joe Donnelly and Jackie Walorski, Indiana Congressional candidates whose character-attacks are in constant rotation on the local TV channels.
However, with the negative ads come the parodies.
One really effective — and hilarious — such “ad” is from AARP. The “ad” is actually its own website called “www.jackphillipsforamerica.com” with a video showing citizens slamming Phillips’ opponent, Claire Lee, with ridiculous statements like “She never blinks!” and “Even her mother didn’t vote for her.”
AARP’s parody is funny, but its message — as it states at the end — is that the political ads are so manipulative, voters need real information to make decisions.
Spoofs have even been appearing not only mocking the campaign ads, but the political parties themselves.
My favorite so far is “The Rent Is Too Damn High Party” — I’m not making this up, check out www.rentistoodamnhigh.org — founded by New York gubernatorial candidate Jimmy McMillan. “Saturday Night Live” inevitably picked up on it with a recent parody.
Maybe if the local candidates would start their own political parties and rap instead of ridicule, they could lure back some of the turned-off voters.
Katie Rohman is the managing editor of the Niles Daily Star, Off the Water, Cassopolis Vigilant and Edwardsburg Argus. She can be reached at (269) 687-7713 or at email@example.com.