This Government is Brought to You by the Letter $
Some things just shouldn’t be advertised.
Pharmaceutical drugs fall in this category for me. Politicians, too.
Some shouldn’t be advertised TO.
Kids, for example, do not need advertising in their lives. (I’d like to shout out to Nick JR for giving my daughter her beloved Peppa Pig without any requisite ad consumption.) Again, I propose excluding politicians.
I am not a Democrat, but I vote like one. Political advertising, however, is not a partisan issue, nor is the lobbying that happens before and after elections. They are issues of self-determination.
Ad-ver-tis-ing [ad-ver-tahy-zing] is innocuously defined by our friends at Dictionary.com as:
noun - the act or practice of calling public attention to one's product, service, need, etc., especially by paid announcements
Political ads do more than call attention to their product and are particularly egregious.
Politicians, especially those on the national stage, need to call attention to themselves. They need to introduce their faces and character, share their views and values, and engage as many of their would-be voters in their campaign for office.
I understand this.
But that pitch for our attention, loyalty and vote is distorted in a grotesque way when it calls negative attention to a competitor. Political advertising focuses most of its might on bashing and the truth be damned. There is a race to see who can create the most damaging slant of the truth to mortally wound the campaign of the other.
But candidate bashing isn’t limited to the candidates themselves. Candidates get help from Political Action Committees who aren’t held to the same high-standards.
Because it is campaign funding that buys advertising and that funding comes with from people, groups and companies expecting favors, politicians are, in effect, sponsored by their donors. If a person were interested, she could research industries and companies contributing to particular political parties. But thanks to some loopholes in how certain organizations are able to contribute to PACs without revealing who contributed to them, you and I have no idea who just bought the Senate seats, or Governorship, or Presidency.Continued on the next page