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PhiNotPi's avatar

Do you think that there are too many political attack ads?

Asked by PhiNotPi (12197 points ) November 2nd, 2010

With all of those negative ads being aired constantly, do think that they have taken the ads too far? For example, I have seen ads that attack people over how the other candidate has attack ads. It seems to me that ads consist of more personal attacks than support for candidates.

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22 Answers

jrpowell's avatar

It bugs the shit out of me. I would rather hear about why I should vote for you. It almost seems like the goal is to get people to not vote.

wundayatta's avatar

You know what I do? I don’t watch TV. That fixes those attack ads right good!

crazyivan's avatar

The sad shame is that the attack ads are effective. More effective, as it turns out, than positive, image building ads.

The problem is that the candidates aren’t tied to the ad. It used to be that the attack ads let up when you got close to the election because the accepted wisdom suggested that by then people wanted to hear nothing but the good. Now the attack ads can fly under the radar with no mention of the (other) candidates name so there is very little blowback for running negative ads.

Maybe if we started tallying up the negative ads and intentionally voting for whichever candidate ran the fewest…

GracieT's avatar

I can usually tune out the attack adds, but as I’ve grown older they have gone from slightly off putting to downright nasty! It has almost come down to me voting to whomever is less nasty. Ok, I said almost! But all other things being equal, then…

Mom2BDec2010's avatar

Yes! I was thinking the same thing earlier when like 5 of them came on in a row. I think they should focus the ads on why we should be wanting to choose them and not why not to choose the other.

CaptainHarley's avatar

It’s delorable, but the only thing I can think of to stop them is to penalize them somehow when they go public with an attack ad, but then that would probably be some sort of abridgment of free speech, so I’m at a loss. : ((

JustmeAman's avatar

America is becoming the Joke of the world with this sort of stuff. I can’t believe how far down we are and what it says about the general public. Very Sad indeed and needs to change and it will very soon.

Sarcasm's avatar

@wundayatta That works for you? Even with the TV off, I still see negative advertising through the mail, on Youtube ads, or other ads on the internet, on the radio. The political machines just never shut up. I think the worst is when I see the negativity from friends on Facebook (or when they post something neutral, and then one of their friends replies with something unnecessarily negative).

I absolutely hate the negative advertising.
But I do think that it, unfortunately, does a good job of representing politics these days. The best reason to vote for someone seriously is “Because he’s not the other guy.” So why would we expect the politicians to not pick up on that and use it for their advertising?

CyanoticWasp's avatar

I don’t think there are nearly enough. People still think “their guy” (or gal) is on a pedestal. They’re all in the gutter, and the sooner we realize it, the better for all of us.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

My husband actually refused to vote today, because “they’re all douchebags, so why do I give a shit”.

wundayatta's avatar

@Sarcasm Hmmm. I don’t read my mail very often. I kind of save it up for a few weeks and then do it all at once—for everything except bills. I don’t watch much on YouTube and I listen to public radio. So yeah, I’m pretty well insulated.

As others have said, attack ads work. So you all may not like them, but you seem to respond to them, whether you are aware of it or not. I don’t know why they work, but I guess it suggests that negative ideas about someone are stronger than positive ideas. It’s easier to tarnish someone’s reputation than to build it.

I always try to tarnish my own reputation before anyone can do it, but it still doesn’t work. It’s still a surprise to people when I really screw up.

YARNLADY's avatar

I think there are too many political ads all together. As @JustmeAman says it is a joke everywhere, not just other countries, but among our own citizens.

Ivy's avatar

I watch what I want on television but not the ‘news’ and never commercials of any kind, thanks to whoever made it possible to record programs. But I do watch The Daily Show and last week they did a hilarious, if slightly distasteful, satire of all the lies and mudslinging in a clip called:
The Daily Show Mocks Negative Campaign Ads: Larry Wilmore F*cks Chickens (VIDEO):
http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/10/the-daily-show-mocks-negative-campaign-ads-larry-wilmore-fcks-chickens-video.php

What bothers me is, if half of what they’re saying about each other is true, what are (can) we as citizens going to do to see they all go to jail?

Emililly's avatar

YES! I hate seeing the political ads on tv like every 5 seconds of a commercial break! Most of the time what they say isn’t even true!! (Not all the time- sometimes it is true, but not the majority of the time) I think that all politicians are crooked in some way shape or form, it’s been that way for a long long time! They try to build themselves up on the commercials and crap but they have a few problems too! (Sorry for my rant, lol, I just feel strongly about (code for HATE) politics)

CyanoticWasp's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate I’m with him. My motto for this time of every even-numbered year is: “Don’t vote, it only encourages the bastards!” (as some of you already know). It galls me to no end to hear politicians say (though I know they lie about anything, anyway) and then have a sycophantic press repeat with near adulation, that they have a “mandate for change” because they received a slight plurality of votes cast by a more and more disaffected and disenfranchised electorate.

H.L. Mencken is my hero in this regard: “Every election is just an advance auction of stolen goods.”

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@Ivy That clip is absolutely hliarious! “Good luck with the campaign, and keep f**king chickens!”

filmfann's avatar

Both sides do it, I know, but you see it is remarkably unfair when you research the basis of most of these attack ads. For example, the ad saying a democrat voted for giving viagra to child molesters. That part of the heath care bill was added by republicans who put it there solely to attack anyone who voted for it.
A friend of mine was on the City Council in San Ramon, and was making $400 a month for doing that. After he left, the Mayor raised their pay to $700, and when he ran for another office, he was attacked for raising city councils pay over 60%.
Attack ads really just show how low that candidate will stoop to get your vote.

My name is Filmfann, and I approve this message

josie's avatar

Since all politicians (at least at the federal level) are greedy, narcissistic, ambitious, ammoral assholes, then in my opinion there are not enough attack ads.

SamIAm's avatar

It drives me nuts. So nuts that it makes me hate all of the politicians involved, and makes me not want to vote for them. Also, I could NOT wait for today to be over so I don’t have to see or hear the ads anymore. GQ

mattbrowne's avatar

Far too many. This has made German news and a lot of Europeans are worried about this trend. We need new ideas instead of attacks.

Nullo's avatar

Like @wundayatta, I’ve stopped watching TV. Like @other people I have installed lovely adblock programs so that I don’t have to see it on my computer, either.

But yes, too many. They need to stop.

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