It’s election season, so if you’ve looked at a TV for longer than 30 seconds, you’ve seen at least one political attack commercial. Those are the ones created by campaigns to skewer an opponent’s policies, character or existence in general. Commercials that focus on the positive aspects of the candidate making them aren’t interesting enough. We love conflict. If you think I’m going to go on and on about how these commercials go too far and ruin political discourse, you’re wrong. Personally, I don’t think they go far enough.
In life, I’ve always liked the philosophy of "go big or go home." That philosophy should apply to every aspect of our culture, especially political attack ads. These ads just don’t have enough punch. Attack ads need to be the most devastating character assassinations possible. Their goal should be to destroy the will of the candidates they attack.
The key to increasing the damage these ads do to an opponent is something any true politician will have no trouble doing: stop telling the truth. If you can’t find dirt on your opponents, just make some up. Accuse them of crimes, illicit affairs, tax dodging, etc. These allegations will be on TV, and since everything on TV is 100 percent true, I don’t see a problem with this strategy.
I know that this strategy violates every libel and slander law available. But I don’t think politicians should worry about that. Being sued for lying about an opponent builds character. People love outlaws. One of the reasons Johnny Cash became famous at the beginning of his career was because people really thought he went to jail. Won’t people think the same way about politicians? I think they will, so this is a foolproof strategy.
The "go big or go home" strategy should work in another way: disproving any false allegations from an opponent. For example, Christine O’Donnell, the Republican candidate for senator in Delaware, faced controversy when a clip from Bill Maher’s old show "Politically Incorrect" showed her talking about how she dabbled in witchcraft when she was in high school. She released a commercial last week assuring voters that she was, in fact, not a witch.
That’s all fine and good, but the commercial didn’t go far enough. I’m still not convinced that O’Donnell isn’t a witch. If she wants to prove that she is in fact a pure Christian, she needs to step up her game. She should do an on-air Bible reading, or douse herself with holy water to prove that she won’t melt. You can’t give someone a Senate seat if they don’t have any accountability.
But, if for some strange reason a candidate decides to stress the positive aspects of their campaign, they really should give it everything they have.
Don’t just list your policy beliefs and all the important bills you voted for or against. Make yourself look like the greatest candidate in history. There should be a lot of colors and graphics in these commercials. Run through a golden field with hundreds of adoring children if you have to. Make yourself look like a God amongst men.
These are just a few ways we can fix campaign commercials. I’m tired of all the weak and timid strategies candidates use. Politicians need to be more assertive in their campaigns. If these methods are unethical, immoral or illegal, then so be it. It’s a change that has to be made. If a politician uses the "go big or go home" technique in commercials, there’s not telling how high one’s political star could rise. Anyone who stands in the way is un-American.