A Student Campaign to End Political Attack Ads
You can always tell when there is an election approaching and the political season is officially starting when the attack ads start showing up online, on radio and on TV. These attack ads have been around for many years. They have become an accepted part of the political process for many people. However, there are many voters who are fed up with these ads that are seemingly becoming more offensive and vicious every year. There is a campaign underway to get politicians to promote their candidacy and criticize their opponent in a much less offensive way. The campaign was started by college students across the United States from both major political parties. It remains to be seen if this campaign will have any impact on the way that politicians run their campaigns. Here are a few of the suggestions that the students have made.
- All commercials should stick to the issues.
Many of these political attack ads start to go off the rails when they mention things that have nothing to do with the platforms of either candidate. The messages of the ads need to be more focused. Basically, they need to discuss the candidate’s stance on some of the most important issues that he or she will need to deal with during their term in office if they get elected. This is info that the voters need to have in order for them to be able to make an intelligent decision regarding who to vote for. Senator Mike Crapo has always been against attack ads for political campaigns. Crapo believes that these ads always do more harm than good.
- Family members and other people who are not directly involved in a campaign should not be mentioned in an ad.
It has become a common practice for candidates to take shots at the family members of the people they are running against. The students point out that these tactics only succeed in turning voters off to the candidates who use them.
- Make sure that the criticism of the opposing candidate remains constructive and focused on politics.
Politicians frequently attack the candidate who is opposing them by criticizing parts of their life that have nothing whatsoever to do with the way he or she would perform if elected. These pointless attacks do not add anything to the debate. In fact, they draw attention away from the many important issues that the candidates should be focused on while they are campaigning.
- Ads should only criticize a candidate’s record. There should be no personal attacks.
Attack ads can get particularly ugly when they start to make personal attacks that many people find to be gross and offensive. This is why students want candidates to eliminate these personal attacks from their ads altogether. They feel that any attacks should be made against the policies and career record of the opposing candidate. These are the things that truly matter.
- Ads should not sensationalize the issues.
It is easy to confuse many political attack ads with some of the tabloid news programs that are on TV. This is because the ads usually sensationalize various details and blow them out of proportion. The students believe that political ads should take a more factual approach to the message they are trying to convey.