3.07.2008

election { Going Low, Going Negative

The thing I hate most in elections, is the negative mud slinging. This tactic was refined and taken to new heights by the campaign strategies of Karl Rove for Bush in 2000 (a good example was the push polling saying McCain had a "black baby" in South Carolina).

I'm a little disappointed that Hillary is using this, below is a campaign ad that was used in Texas and Ohio before the race:



Its a Fear ad, much like the one from Defense of Democracies. Meant to scare us and tap into that primal emotion.

The Obama campaign hasn't used fear ads, instead going for more of a sympathy tactic. However, supporters have gone negative, and directly against her, such as in this non-endorsed supporter ad:



I wish both sides would not go negative. I wish there was a way candidates could counter each other and maintain an honest, fair, and sportsmanlike race. Facts seem to not matter much anymore and they are hard to weed out of the noise or find in a raw, unbiased format.

Going negative foremost is childish. To those who don't support you, it deepens their anger and disgust. For those who do support you, or believe the ads/remarks, it can create false impressions of the other candidate. Either way it creates an unnecessary tension at best, and a complete split where either side will not listen to the other at worst (the scorched earth approach).

Personally I support Obama, but I could live with Clinton (at the moment). I get a lot of flak from people (which is good, it sparks good healthy debate) because I support a candidate who "lacks experience." But I keep going back to, in my mind, that this lack of experience, to me, is not a detriment. I want change. I don't want someone who come from the inside (even though Obama does) who wants to maintain the status quo. The status quo is so broken I want outside of the box thought and input. I want someone not biased by years of being in that toxic environment. You want a competent President yes (although we haven't had one since 2000), but you also want a charismatic President. Someone who can energize and inspire. That trait does not come from experience, you either have it or you don't. I don't want change for the sake of change either, but change is needed.

P.S. If anyone can link Obama endorsed, anti-Clinton ads similar to Clinton's '3AM' ad, let me know. And yes I am aware that by not asking his supporters to stop going negative, Obama is passively supporting it.

2 comments:

Knight of Nothing said...

Boy, I never saw that Obama ad. That is some repugnant shit. Very disappointing! As for the Clinton ad, I saw on the Today show this morning that that ad was made up of stock footage. It happens that one of the little girls in the commercial is all grown up now and works on the Obama campaign. Awesome irony, huh?

The more I think about it, the less I am inclined to say that I can "live with" Clinton. For me, she represents everything that is wrong with the democratic party: expediency instead of righteousness and cold calculation instead of moral fiber.

I disagree with Obama on many issues, but I don't have that feeling of inevitability and powerlessness with him as with Clinton. She is the candidate of the DNC and the establishment. And in my opinion, the DNC needs kicked into its grave.

GeistX said...

I agree with you regarding Hillary. I have similar feelings. There is something wrong with the Democratic Party.

I think Nader said it best recently. If the Democratic Party can't get a President elected in this election, they should dissolve and reform as something else.