Is the election over yet?




Gary Gould — Managing Editor

Gary Gould — Managing Editor

The endless assault on our senses has begun with the barrage of campaign ads we are being subjected to every day.

If you didn’t know 2012 was an election year, you should know by now. Ads for the GOP front-runners have saturated every possible form of media — newspapers, television, radio and the Internet.

I tried to play a music video on YouTube.com the other day and it started out with a 16 minute ad for Ron Paul (fortunately you could skip it after several seconds). With the Michigan primary just days away, YouTube videos are now saturated with ads by Republican front-runners Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum — you can’t get away from it no matter what you do.

As a friend of mine pointed out earlier this week: only 259 days until the campaign ads and calls stop. I hope we can all last that long.

I am not knocking any one party or politician here, so bear that in mind. I object to this bombardment of our senses (and sensibilities) with all of the campaign ads every time there’s an election. It would be different if the candidates were just telling us about their record or what they will do if elected, but it always digresses into this mud-slinging match where the candidates spend more time trying to scare us or sour us toward their opponent instead of telling us their own merits.

Why is it so hard for politicians to campaign on their own laurels? Sell yourself, don’t make us dislike the other guy, tell us why you are the best choice.

I watched one ad for Santorum where an actor portraying Romney was shooting a paintball gun wildly inside a warehouse. Another ad by Pete Hoekstra depicted an Asian woman thanking Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow for helping improve the economy of a nameless Asian nation.

“Thank you Debbie Spend-it- Now!” the young girl says in broken

English after getting off her bicycle in the middle of a rice paddy.

It was one of those moments in campaign ad history that you just sit back, slap yourself on the forehead and ask “what were they thinking?”

Political ads have gotten worse over the years and I’d say these days we are at a new low.

Campaigns should be run cleaner, saving the mudslinging for face-to-face match ups in debates — not plastering this garbage all over our TVs, radios and Internet.

The power of political ads is one of the reasons average people can’t run for higher office. If you aren’t rich, or don’t have a rich lobby or supporters behind you, you can’t afford to run for president. And we as a people eat this junk up — we watch these ads and we let them influence us at the polls.

People need to have their own mind and thoughts when going to the polls. Read about the candidates. Find out what they are about before you vote. Don’t rely on what they say in their TV ads. It’s not a popularity contest — its about the future of the country and the direction we are heading as a people. Make a smart choice and be sure to vote Feb. 28.

ggould@mihomepaper.com


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