Have you seen the cable commercial that ends with this column’s headline?
Actor Mike O’Malley (of Yes, Dear) is holding a puppy and he says his competitor charges extra for high-definition channels. That money could buy a mountain of puppy food. Therefore, (his competitor’s name here) hates puppies.
I love the commercial because the premise that his competitor’s higher cost equates to hating puppies is just ridiculous. His competitor was outraged. They complained. His company ignored them. The competitor was in a no-win situation. They don’t hate puppies and I doubt anyone really believes that they do. That’s just silly.
In the coming weeks, we will be bombarded by political ads posturing about the good (them), the bad and the ugly (their opponent). We’re smart enough to figure out not everything in political ads is necessarily true. Apparently, it doesn’t have to be. It just has to get your attention. The more you hear a name, the more likely you are to check that box on election day, especially if it’s a state or national candidate you really don’t know much about. They are counting on it.
That’s why you have to do more than just hide the puppies. You have to educate yourself so you can make the best decision possible. I’m not saying there isn’t a possibility of disappointment even with an informed choice. We all know that once a politician gets in office, the likelihood of keeping his or her promises drops dramatically. Heck, half the things they promise they can’t deliver anyway because they have no control over them. Seems we should know that.
If the other half of their promises don’t pan out, they blame someone else.
We are one of the few countries that has a true electoral system. Along with that, we also have a huge population of uninformed voters. Not a good imbalance. Rather a dangerous combination.
You can watch the ads if you want. I suppose at some point, it’s better than nothing. On the other hand, why not log off that Farmville page and do a little research. If your candidate of inquiry is an incumbent for state or national office, you can find their voting record. See if they put up or shut up. If they are new to the game, Google ‘em. If they are doing anything, you’ll find it.
We have the power to shape our destiny. We can do it one candidate at a time; one race at a time; one vote at a time.
If you are unhappy about the ways things are being done, use your vote to change it.
Shees. It’s better than just shoving little Rover under the couch every time one of those annoying ads comes on.
Editor’s note: Thank goodness we no longer have to listen to “I’m so-and-so, and I approve of this message.” Now whoever backs the commercial approves of the content. Much better. Rrrriiiight. About that. (This is for you The Office fans.)