Today as I scrolled through my Facebook feeds, I saw more people disgruntled with the campaign season than vouching for their faves. Logically, I think all of us are a little overwhelmed with the plethora of political ads. “Don’t vote for that guy, he’s a liar and bad for this country.” “I want to improve education, create jobs and work for the American people.” Whose ad is that? Take your pick; they’re all saying the same things it seems.
It made me think of a news story I heard on NPR about the difficulty local businesses have in advertising during the elections. There is no room for them between commercial breaks and they don’t have the means to compete. (No car salesman ads, no fun dentist commercial jingles and no commercials of injury attorneys “promising” to have your best interests in mind.) So all we’re left with are attack ads and overdramatized profiles of candidates.
In some other countries there are limits to campaign contributions and others are federally funded, which result in a smaller abundance of ads, both options seem more reasonable than the millions being spent on ads. What’s worse is that for some, instead of deciding on a candidate based on ads, they are opting out of the electoral process entirely, fatigued andturned off by the mountain of political ads found everywhere from TV, print, radio and on-line.
Some sweet delusional friends of mine even say “Wouldn’t it be great if we could use the millions of dollars spent on political ads to help the poor instead?” I have such cute friends, don’t I? However, with Citizens United, we can only expect the oversaturation of ads to get worse, and appear elsewhere, perhaps building ads, taxi ads and if we’re lucky enough maybe urinal cakes that thank you for your vote. Like this one (seen above) of Pat McCourt, a candidate for political office in Lee County, Florida.