unsubscribing from politics



Here’s a profoundly deep thought: I’m sick of political ads.

They’re EVERYWHERE…Interrupting prime time television, scattered across neighbors’ yards and overflowing from my mailbox – and I can’t unsubscribe.

I don’t watch a whole lot of TV, but when I do, I prefer not to see backhanded insults and nastiness flying around, unless it’s part of an AMC drama. The ads leading up to the next election have been awful. Some are so inappropriate they should require ratings for using adult content and language.

In addition to the ads my television has been projectile vomiting at me, I’ve also been receiving a multitude of glossy political fliers in the mail, everyday, which I promptly dispose of without a second glance. I hate the fact that trees died for such a mediocre purpose; I figure they must’ve been badly behaved in a prior life.

And what about the signs? Don’t even get me started on the barrage of campaign signs littering every intersection in the state. It’s as if all the candidates actually banded together in an effort to rid the roadways of a single foot of open space, lest we drivers falter and actually keep our eyes on the road.

It’s just too much. Blech.

The ironic part of all this is that I’ve already voted by mail. Done-zo. And I did not turn to commercials, direct mail pieces or obnoxious signage to make my polling choices. It might sound outlandish, but I actually – get this – read up on the candidates myself before I voted.

I wonder how many people actually have a dramatic change in opinion based on a simple commercial. Whether it’s choosing paper towel brands or presidential candidates, I hesitate to think that 30-second ads really influence opinions that dramatically. The natural response to that question is of course, “If the ads don’t work, they’d stop paying for them.” But  is that really true? I have to wonder who determines how effective different ads are. It sounds hard. That person must be a Mathlete.

Most of the things that bug me about campaign season are things we learn not to do as children: no lying, no name-calling, no bragging and no tattling. It’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game. If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.

I think that if politicians chose to follow these basic rules, they’d see a big shift on election day. Because regardless of experience, credentials and endorsements, it always pays to be a good person.