Political Campaigns

Election day is rolling around, and the politicians are scrambling to air advertisements to draw more votes in for themselves. Politician A is the most qualified for office, but doesn’t have a lot of money to spend on ads. Politician B is the second best candidate and has a good amount of money for ads. Politician C, though the worst choice, has the most money, and has many flashy ads. When the votes are tallied, Politician C wins.

It’s all too common to see the candidate with the best ads win an election, whether or not they’d be good for the position they are running for. All the candidate needs is a lot of money—whether their own or donated by their party—and connections in the television business to produce a well-made, compelling advertisement. Look at Ross Perot; how often did you see him in a commercial when he ran for president? He was part of a minor party and didn’t have the funds to match the number of ads Bill Clinton and Bob Dole ran.

Clever advertising ploys and sincere-sounding dialogue make the politician seem like the best for the job without revealing their flaws. They can point out things they find wrong with the people they are running against, making themselves look better by comparison. When Jeb Bush ran against Buddy MacKay in the elections for Florida’s governor, Bush had catchy ads (“He’s not my buddy!”) and convincing talk. He neglected to mention the fact that he’d never held a political office, and MacKay had.

The more ads someone has, the more dedicated they seem. That isn’t the case. Again, the money comes into play. The politician isn’t making ads because he wants the best for the people, he wants your vote so he can have the power. Maybe if Clinton advertised less, we wouldn’t be stuck with him in office. People are drawn to the showy performances and scenes of the candidate interacting with the community, even if he really doesn’t.

The people watching these advertisements have no way of judging by ads alone whether a candidate is good for the office. Being able to make a good commercial doesn’t mean you are suited for the position you run for. Advertising should not be considered when voting. It’s far too easy for a politician to convince you to vote for him just because he’s rich.

Can you tell I don't like politicians?... This was written shortly after the elections for governor.

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