It’s that time of year, when everyone you know on Facebook, where you work, in the grocery store – everybody everywhere – is suddenly a political analyst. I remember four years ago asking a friend where they got their news from. This person genuinely thought that one of the best places to get information was from the attack ads. Do you want to vote for a politician who is a cannabal? Really? You don’t want to listen to the speech the person actually gave, just selected, edited, and cropped sound bites that the other person is telling you was said. Is there any worse way to find out what a person is like? Even a person with the best intentions could still mix up the message – why not hear someone’s actual words?
I don’t know. It’s all just so over the top. And with new media, social media, the instant feedback from the internet – there is no time to pound away and send one message home as political candidate, you have to have something new to say every single day, because each day, everybody is hearing your message. It’s not like it was a few hundred years ago, when you had to campaign all around the country. Now you’re campaigning nationwide every day! Quotes get put on the news, ads are put on Youtube, and statistics are misrepresented and outright lied about in stupid pictures that get retweeted and shared a few hundred thousand times over.
I’m a geek. A geek who loves music, and video games; hockey, and football; whiskey, and cold beer. I have strong convictions on social and fiscal policies. But I just know that this year, more than any in the past, is going to be ugly. The attack ads are going to really turn me off to this election season, and we’re a long way from the finish line. I’m hoping to keep my head low, but you can’t even turn off the TV this year. It’s already started on radio, every social network, and even YouTube’s pre-roll ads. It just makes me sad that so many influenced by the negative campaign ads, rather than listening to the messages of the candidates themselves. Know where someomne stands, know how they’ve voted in the past, and vote for your candidate of choice – not the candidate who bashed the other guy the most. Republican or Democrat: I just hope we all come out of this one alive.