Sunday, September 28, 2008

Negative Political Ads

I was introduced to Kentucky politics in 2002. It stuck me how quickly and how deeply negative the various campaigns became. I had been exposed to negative campaigning before, but this was something else. The ads became extremely personal and nasty very early in the campaign. It didn't seem to be the desperate act of failing campaigns because campaigns that were comfortably ahead in the polls were just as bad.

I decided very early that I wouldn't listen to negative campaign ads. I may watch them for the entertainment value, but I refuse to take any of their assertions into consideration when I'm deciding how to vote.

In 2004 and 2006, I tried to figure out which party was the most negative, or who seemed to throw the first mudball. I gave up in both endeavors. Both major parties shamelessly sling mud at each other, and neither seems to go nastier or earlier than the other.

Here's the deal, folks: Convince me to vote the way you want me to by describing what's good about your candidate or your cause. Tell me what good is going to come from your victory, not what evil will come from your defeat. Don't waste your money and breath telling me how your opponent tortures baby goats under a full moon. Tell me how you are going to enforce the laws, secure the country, keep your meathooks off of the majority of my money, and how you're going to be a good steward of the money that I do pay in taxes.

Negative ads don't convince me to not vote for the other guy, the lead me to believe that you don't deserve my vote.

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