Tag Archives: negative ads

Political Ads

It’s that time again—the airwaves are cluttered with negative political ads. I parodied these a few years ago by claiming that George Washington should not be elected President because:

  • He wasn’t born a United States citizen (because there was no United States when he was born).
  • He had served—as an officer, no less—in a British military unit (during the French and Indian War).
  • He owned slaves.
  • He distilled whiskey (corn could rot in the silos, while whiskey didn’t spoil).
  • He named his home—Mount Vernon—after British Admiral Edward Vernon.

All true, but today, someone would spin them to discourage people from voting for Washington. With negative political ads facts are inconsequential—it’s the spin that counts.

Why do politicians rely so much on negative ads? Negative ads work.

If we think about it, negative ads reflect poorly on politicians.

But what does the success of negative ads say about us?

Crawling to Safety

The vast wasteland lay before me as though an eternity. I knew to stay in one spot meant certain death and there was nothing behind me so I decided to crawl forward. I was long past walking. I had tried to sleep in what shelter I could find and move when I could do so unnoticed, but so far it hadn’t seemed to do me much good.

By sheer willpower I continued on. Many times I let my head drop, but knew if I gave up for a moment I would give up completely. I was thankful for the numbness for I knew if I could feel, the pain would be unbearable.

What was that ahead? A glimmer of hope? Could I keep going.

I had to.

If I could, I might have a shot at surviving – a small chance, but I had to shoot for it.

Yesterday I would have welcomed death to save me from this torment but today I continued on, knowing if I could last just a few more hours the political ads would stop. The robocalls would no longer haunt me. The hate that filled the air would subside.

I dragged myself forward toward the light.