What’s Wrong With America: Campaign Ads

It’s that time again. That time when the guy who wants to run the country and the guy running the country accuse each other of the most egregious things: Like one guy’s a Mormon and the other guy’s black. Oh, wait. They save that for after the conventions.

But it’s not just the presidential campaigns. Every year, some of the states pick governors. Every two years, all of the House and one third of the Senate is up for grabs. There are primaries and general elections. Added to all this electoral goodness are municipal elections and various issues for school levies and casinos and what have you.

And in each and every case, there’s a campaign manager whose job is to lie, slander, and terrorize.

I’m of the firm belief that we should make room for immigrants by deporting these low-lifes. Unfortunately…

They’ve been with us since the dawn of the republic. And they’re an import from Europe. Go on. Ask any Brit who knows their history about “rotten boroughs.” It’s an early forerunner to the Chicago ballot system that polls the Chicagoland’s cemeteries.

Honestly, if you want an objective opinion of how Obama has done, or how Romney might perform, you’re going to have to do something the campaign managers don’t want you to do: Read the news.

I don’t mean those idiotic blogs that only massage your ideological leanings. Obama’s getting the worst of it, partly from pure racism (and don’t deny it. You know the cowards are out there.), but mainly because he’s the sitting president. Romney’s a newer flavor. It’ll be well into September when all the black helicopter chasing and frustrated Weatherman wannabe morons come up with rumors slightly more credible than Elvis sightings, UFO theories, and anything that comes out of a Kardashian’s mouth.

It frustrates me to no end to watch campaign ads that bear less resemblance to the person being slammed than they do to the work of James Callender. Who’s that?

This genius made a living telling the world that John Adams wanted to be the King of America, sell the US out to the British, and quite possibly eat your baby. James, however, ran afoul of the Alien & Sedition Acts. While unconstitutional and regretted by Adams, His Rotundity nevertheless decided that, before Congress corrected that mistake, to use them on Callender. When his patron, Thomas Jefferson, did not pardon him, Callender emerged from his prison sentence to spread rumors about the author of the Declaration of Independence. The story of Jefferson’s affair with Sally Hemings proved true – almost two hundred years later – the rest of Callender’s tripe bore about as much resemblance to reality as I do to Rita Hayworth.

Fast forward about 40 years, and we have the campaign staff of William Henry Harrison painting Martin Van Buren as a rich aristocrat while Harrison is a brawling frontier cabin dweller. Never mind that Van Buren clawed his way up from poverty while Harrison was born with a silver spoon in his mouth and lived on a sprawling Ohio River plantation.

The fact is every election cycle, we have to put up with this garbage. And they come in all stripes. You have the ones that skew statistics. You have the ones that manage to use footage of a candidate to misquote him. (Neat trick, but bullshit is bullshit.) Then there’s the series of commercials I refer to as “The Bitch.” You’ve heard her. The woman who comes on in a soft, but worried voice, who fears the end of civilization itself because this issue is done by people who only want to do you harm. I don’t fault the woman doing the ads. It’s a sweet gig if you can get it.

I fault the campaign managers. If I am said to be an unrepentant bigot toward any group, then I proudly call myself a campaign manager bigot. These are people who lie. They distort. And they destroy the democratic process. Worst of all, they use fear to get you to change your mind.

One such douchebag, Ken Blackwell’s manager for Ohio governor, suggested in one breath that maybe Ted Strickland is gay and in the next said his job was to win a campaign by any means necessary. Incidentally, Strickland won – by a landslide, and Blackwell’s party nominated current governor John Kasich, who generally does not sound like an idiot.

There are other stupid campaign tricks that bug the hell out of me. Not lowering taxes is a tax hike? (No, stupid! It’s not a tax hike. It’s not anything! I took math in high school.) The anti-casino ads talking about all the out-of-staters taking jobs and the economic drain casino towns. (The casino towns in Indiana found these hysterical as the only out-of-staters hired were from Ohio and Kentucky. You know. Locals. They also had a drop in crime and a rise in their economy. Don’t pitch statistics reality won’t backup.)

I’d like to say I have a solution, but I don’t. By November, gays, Muslims, corporate executives, and Christians will be pointed at as boogiemen that one guy or the other (or even both) is completely and totally behind. The only suggestion I have is to use campaign ads as your cue to hit the john, get a beer, or even change the channel.

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