Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Could Politicians Create Positive, Truthful Ads?

Although it's been a crazy, busy month getting ready for 2012 ASAE Annual Meeting & Exposition, I've seen my share of negative TV ads for the upcoming election. I'm tired of hearing ads from both sides saying what they believe is "truthful" and trying to sway people to vote for either party. We have less than 70 days until Americans decide their fate, and there's a higher number of negative ads this year than in years past.

On November 6, I know who I'm going to vote for because I've keep abreast of what's happening in politics and how it will impact my future. However, there are millions of Americans who are still undecided. Politicians are trying to "educate" people on how they stand on issues, but even as a smart, educated voter, I see these ads with skewed truths. As a PR professional, I cringed when I see how politicians and groups spend millions of dollars on ads that outline a person's position on issues like economy, women's rights, health care, jobs, etc. They are taking quotes and stances out of context in order to make their point.

One thing I know about majority of Americans is that we are inherently lazy, and for those who haven't decided on who to vote for in November, will see these "ads" and make a decision without researching to see if these ads tell the truth. During a VIP reception with Karl Rove and James Carville at ASAE's meeting, they discussed how the current political system makes it impossible for most Americans to run for office, which I totally agree. If you think about the amount of money you need to run a campaign, it costs hundreds of millions of dollars to pay for staff, ads, events, etc.

I've always wanted to run for President in 2028, but I know that I could never raise enough money to start or even keep up a campaign for national office. These negative ads got me thinking about a radical idea. What if we made politicians create positive ads that outlines their positions without mud slinging their opponent and contained only true facts without twisting anything? Would that encourage more people to vote in November or in any election?

Instead of spending millions of dollars on negative campaigns, what if TV stations gave free space to politicians that run only positive, truthful ads? Would politicians and their staff be able to create these ads or have we gone too far? That is the question. It would be a radical change in how we campaign for national or state office, but I think many people who would welcome it with open arms.

If television stations gave this free space, would Americans be willing to pay TV stations to cover the cost? I would rather pay TV stations money directly for truthful ads, then give money to politicians who aren't being fully truthful. Politicians aren't the only ones to blame, and Americans are partially at fault. If we didn't respond to the negative ads, then politicians would run fewer of them and perhaps focus more on the issues.

Am I dreaming that this could ever happen? I definitely think so, and I just hope that these negative ads stop soon. Because I could be turned off to politics all together, and that would be a very sad day for me.



At 8:17 PM, Blogger Leila AKA Abuilool said...

great post!


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