Stop the burning itch of cam-pain ads
The other night I came up with a brilliant campaign strategy. Granted, I was drinking heavily at the time, but it still sounded reasonable the next day, so hear me out.
We’ll have a politician (Congressman “X”) run an entirely positive re-election campaign. His television ads will be truthful and informative — telling voters specifically where he stands on important issues without degrading his opponent. (I told you I was drinking.)
Our ads will be sunny. Cheerful, even. They’ll be like the positive political ads you used to see — the ones where Congressman X would be in a lovely outdoor setting, clad in the requisite short-sleeved shirt, speaking to a gathering of regular, average, ordinary citizens representing all major demographics. Chirpy, inspirational tunes would blare as the happy, attentive crowd would nod and smile, seemingly very excited to hear about how Congressman X secured federal funding to study the reproductive habits of the yellow walleye.
Those ads weren’t like today’s dark political ads, where apocalyptic sounding music plays as the screen fills with the most unflattering picture ever taken of the opponent — one that makes your driver’s license photo look like a glamour shot.
No sir, there’ll be no negativity in my candidate’s race. No nasty, disingenuous ads implying that his opponent is a womanizing, alcoholic pedophile (unless it’s a very tight race).
We’ll take the high road. We’ll point out how Congressman X is fighting for us. Fighting for our seniors. Fighting for our children. God knows, Congressman X is always fighting over some damn thing. And we’ll focus on his track record too, even if his only accomplishment is avoiding a federal indictment.
Yep, our refreshing, unique strategy of staying positive will break the mold and make Congressman X an inspiration to all Americans, regardless of party affiliation. So much so that come Election Day, you know what will happen? He’ll get crushed by 30 points, that’s what.
So maybe this is a horrible idea.
The truth is, negative ads work, which is why we’re seeing so many of them. Political analysts say this year is the nastiest it’s ever been. Then again, political analysts have been saying that every election season, going all the way back to first known negative ad, which ran during the presidential race of 1788.
(Ominous sounding music begins)
Female announcer: What do we REALLY know about multi-millionaire George Washington?
Numerous allegations he employed illegal, undocumented workers from England and France on his tobacco farm.
Admitted to committing acts of environmental destruction such as chopping down a cherry tree.
And now, George Washington even supports a radical plan to move our nation’s capitol from New York City to swamp land near Virginia!
America cannot afford this radical extremist with ties to big tobacco.
George Washington: Fake wig. False teeth. Phony promises.
Male voice: I’m John Adams and I approve this message.
So you can see how we’ve been stuck with these nasty ads for awhile now, despite voters’ alleged distaste for them. Negative campaign ads are like Ashton Kutcher and Dane Cook: Americans don’t really like them, and find them annoying, yet they somehow they end up popping up on our TV screens every two years.
Which is why I’m pushing for a ballot initiative to ban all negative campaign commercials.
Yes, there will be people out there who will be strongly opposed to this idea — mostly TV and radio advertising salespeople — but there’ll be others, too. They’ll even campaign hard against my ballot initiative, but I’m not worried.
I’ll just dig up some great dirt on them.