Election Season: Time for Mindless Negative Ads

Here we are in election season, again. This time it’s the off-year elections. Historically, the party out of power in the White House wins seats in Congress. That would mean Democrats should make gains this year against the current Republican majority.

That is, if history holds true. And of course, we know that the Trump election of 2016 cast doubt on conventional wisdom, including the “rules” of political history.

As I watch the campaign ads on TV, YouTube, and social media, I’m struck, once again, by the mindless nature of our debates. One candidate hurls over-the-top accusations against the other, only to be met by equally outrageous claims from the other side.

I can imagine the back room conversation at election headquarters goes something like this:

“Can you believe what our opponent said in that ad? We’ve got to strike back!”

“But don’t we want to appeal to the more reasonable crowd?”

“It won’t work. Polls show that if we don’t counter with a negative ad, we’ll lose the election.”

“I thought we were promising something more wholesome than the other guy.”

“No way we can be more wholesome if we don’t win.”

Or something like that.

How sad!

Let’s start a movement. Let’s vote only for those candidates who treat our minds with the respect our minds deserve. Let’s insist on well-researched and reason policy papers on the issues of importance to us. And let’s punish those purveyors of empty negative ads by voting against their candidates.