Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Your Negativity is Bringin' Me Down...

...on the side of your opponent.
That's right, it's Election Day here in the U.S. To be bit schmaltzy for a moment, today, far more than the 4th of July, is a celebration of what makes our nation great. We have the right to VOTE freely without fear of reprisal in a democratic election. This is both our greatest strength and, in years like this one when the cream didn't exactly rise to the top, our greatest weakness.

And I live in a country where I can say things like that and not worry about men with guns knocking on my door in the middle of the night (unless its my crazy relatives with the concealed carry permits, but that's another rant altogether).

So exercise your right people~! No matter what your politics, get out and VOTE today if you haven't already. If you don't vote, you don't get to bitch later!

And now, back to our regularly scheduled rant:
I love that I live in a country with free elections, I really do.

I hate that the same document that gives me the right to whine about the election, the candidates, and any other political topic I so choose also gives the candidates the right to say virtually anything they want (and call me at home & hang up on my answering machine, but that, too, is a topic for another day).

I am a bit of a political noob. I tend to avoid the news because it either angers or depresses me, frequently both. So with a hotly contested election coming on, I decided back in September to follow both candidates on Twitter, once I verified which feeds were the official ones. And I learned absolutely nothing.

Obama's campaign posted things like, "I'm in (city)(state) having a (trite campaign phrase) rally, check it out on the web at (URL). "

McCain's campaign posted links to their new campaign ads as they came out, in brief, "New Ad: (inflammatory ad title here) (URL)".

After 5 weeks of this I got annoyed and stopped following both campaigns since I wasn't learning anything anyway.

(image shamelessly borrowed from :

I did, however, out of morbid curiousity, click on some of the links sent by the McCain campaign. Then I got pissed. Not about what the ads said, I expected most of it, based on the debates. I was mad about what they didn't say.

None of the ads told me anything about McCain, his view on major (or minor, I wasn't picky at this point) issues, his goals for his Presidency, how he thinks he will accomplish those goals, etc. Nothing. Not one single piece of information about John McCain. His ads were all negative ads directed at Barack Obama both personally & professionally.

I've never seen an Obama ad. I debated going to his website to look for one and decided I didn't want to.

Then there's the guy running for county tax assessor-collector here in Travis County who ran a series of ads featuring urban legends (guy in the bathtub full of ice, specifically) implying that this is what the current TA-C is doing to the people of this county. Honestly, even if it's true, the ad was so distasteful I was immediately put off the candidate in question.


Use those ad dollars to tell us why YOU are the best choice for the job, whatever it is. Don't waste your money and our time telling us what the other candidate did/does/thinks/feels that is wrong. In theory, that's what the press is for. Your dollars should be spent wooing me, not dissing the other person.

For me, negative ads are a turn off. If it's like most elections and the only way I recognize a name on the ballot is because I've seen a negative ad (or got one in the mail, these especially irk me) by that candidate, I'll vote for someone else.

Negative ads hurt everyone and help no one. And, if you are one of those people who believe everything you see in a negative ad/mailer/email, I have one thing to say to you:

That goes triple if you are one of my parents :-)

Oh, and FTR, I voted a couple weeks ago and it's none of your business who I voted for, this is about ads, not candidates.


Tell me what bugs you in the comments. Bonus points if its on the same or similar topic as mine. Triple bonus points if this is a week where I Tweeted the topic in advance and you sent me your rant ahead of time. Alas, points have no value whatsoever :-)

Remember, if something is on your mind and you just can't wait for the weekly tirade, email it to me in advance and I'll include your rant in my post with a little link love.

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