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Campaign commercials bring out worst in opposing side

An elderly couple grin at each other lovingly while sitting at their kitchen table, the sun pouring in through the large windows behind them.

There are flowers on the windowsill. The wife stands to pour her husband some coffee as he reads his paper.

Suddenly, a man walks into the room and they both look up at him with welcoming smiles. That is, until the rug is pulled out from under them by this heartless stranger with the initials G. W. B. embroidered on his posh, black boots.

A voice-over comments matter-of-factly, “George Bush, pulling the rug from out of Medicare!”

The last image you see is of the two senior citizens writhing on the hardwood floor, presumably unable to get up from their fall.

This is just a taste of the latest political ad gracing televisions around the country.

When it happened to grace my own monitor for the first time, I shook my head in disbelief. It was shouting off a mountain-top, “Don’t vote for George Bush, because his self-seeking and ignorant economic policies assault the loving and harmless older generation!”

Those are not the words that were spoken, but it is certainly the message being flamboyantly displayed. Just ask the old people who have fallen and can’t get up!

Why? Has George Bush decided to crash a few nursing homes on his days off recently?

No. Well, at least, probably not. However, siding with the big businesses to the detriment of the working class has been one of the most common criticisms of the Republican Party that I’ve seen in my short life. This ad is just the newest way for the opposing parties to express the same idea.

After all, President Bush is up for re-election this year. Traditionally, this means American viewers will be subjected to the usual tasteless political bloodbath until November’s election.

This first-class mudslinging technique must be one of the oldest tricks in the book of campaigning. Point out the opponent’s weak spots, poison the minds of the masses against them, twist the truth to suit your own political

purposes. Campaigning in politics is dirty. Everyone knows it, everyone has seen it.

The example I used is against a Republican president because that is what is being shown this year. However, every political party has been guilty of it at one point or another.

In order to find other examples, I went to Yahoo Search and typed in “dirty politics.” There were 643,000 results. That’s a lot of examples.

Try it and see just for fun. So, what am I trying to accomplish here?

Yeah, campaigning is dirty– it’s corrupt and misleading. We’ve seen that since we first loved our Saturday morning cartoons.

What can we do to change it? Well, nothing that I can think of. That is, unless you consider that the college students of today are the presidential candidates of tomorrow.

No, that’s just too preachy, right, too idealistic?

Maybe.

So, is the nasty political ad true? Is George Bush really siding with big business because of their contributions to his election campaign?

Honestly, I’m not sure. I never found any reliable source to contradict or confirm the declaration, so it is possible.

On the other hand, does the other side act any differently toward their contributors?

Probably not. I know it’s clichéd, but I was told as a child that when someone points a finger at another, there are three fingers pointing back at them.

When campaigns focus on the negatives of their opponents rather than highlighting their own attributes, it is shallow and unnecessary.

If these particular political activists really wanted to get their point across more effectively, they could acknowledge the problem and propose what the candidate they are endorsing has in store to fix the predicament, instead of just pointing fingers.

A plausible argument would certainly make more of an impact on those who value politicians with just proposals and clear standards.

I’m glad of one thing. As of yet, I have not seen any negative presidential candidate ads from the other side (in this case, Republican), tearing apart the opponent to artificially strengthen their own argument.

Who knows, maybe by the time this paper comes out, that will no longer be the case. I know another thing, though. What did viewing that political ad make me want to do? Go out and support President Bush from unjust criticism. Hmmm. So, maybe that ad isn’t shouting the right message after all.

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