Monday, October 29, 2012


Hey everybody! Long time, no see. My blog has been idle for a couple of months now, but rest assured, my mind has not been.

Most of what I'm going to share here today isn't particularly revelatory; it ain't anything you haven't read or heard or thought of before. But it's been swirling around in my head for a while and I wanted to bang this out before the election.

What I've noticed over the last several months is the television ads the various candidates have run. The fact that they're confusing, contradictory and misleading is a given. What bothers me most is that the majority of the candidates seem to be running ads about their opponent. And these ads invariably pull out some sound-bite, half-truth or bald-faced falsehood, and play it off as truth in order to make their opponent look weak, dishonest or plain ol' stupid. Which leaves it up to us to waste copious amounts of time trying to figure what's true and what's not.

The people who run these campaigns seem to think this strategy is a good thing. Like we'll all just believe what we see in these commercials and will therefore be more likely to make an informed decision when it comes time to vote. Nothing could be further from the truth. I think these "attack-ads" and campaigns of misinformation make the candidates look cheap and petty. Instead of campaigning on their own merits, they resort to mudslinging to make themselves look good by comparison. It's the old "I'm not really good for much of anything but at least I didn't kill anybody" strategy. And I think it sucks. It seems to me the candidate's ad dollars would be better spent letting us know what they've done right rather than what their opponent has done wrong.

Most of us have heard talk of campaign reform at some point. My understanding is that it usually has to do with how funds are raised to finance campaigns. Well, I have a campaign reform suggestion of my own.

Self-promotion: Candidates may only run ads – tv and/or print – about themselves. They may not mention their opponent in any way, shape, or form. If an ad breaking this rule airs or appears in print, the campaign will be fined and will be required to print and/or air a retraction and/or apology.

Ad Cap: A set, limited number of television and print ads may appear during a campaign. If it is discovered that a candidate has run more than the allotted number of ads, the campaign will be fined and lose one advertising slot.

Truth in Advertising: All advertising will feature only truthful statements. An independent fact-checking committee will be formed to confirm the veracity of all claims made in advertising and if a falsehood is knowingly presented, the campaign will be fined and will be required to air or print a retraction.

Money Cap: A set amount of money shall be spent by both campaigns, and said amount will be far less than what candidates have been accustomed to. Once a campaign has raised the maximum amount of financing allowed, they will not be allowed to raise more. If it is determined that a candidate has raised more that the allotted amount, they will be fined double what the overage was.

This reform may or not ever happen, but I surely wish it would. I'm sick to death of having to slog through lies and innuendo in order to try to get to the truth of what the candidates stand for. This kind of campaigning may make the candidates feel better, but it doesn't serve the people at all. And isn't that what this all supposed to be about? Serving the people? It seems to me, most politicians spend far more time serving themselves.


  1. I'm all for these reforms. I say, do it! Now, how do we go about it?

    1. I'm with you, @Jim! I saw four back-to-back commercials for our local election here in WA state and it just pissed me off all over again. ;-P Not a single ad talked about the candidate it represented. Instead, they ALL took jabs at their opponents. What a waste of time and money, not to mention tax-payer patience.

      I wish I was one of those people who could get all fired up and start a petition and send it to congress and get the attention of a lobbyist or non-profit and enact a reform a million years from now. But I'm not. sigh...

      Thanks for commenting!

  2. Hey good post @Steven! All of those make sense to me. I think they could go through just like they are. Unfortunately I'm not one of those people who gets petitions started either. Neither is the wife but she supports it too. We'd voted for it for sure.

    Good to see you posting again.

    1. Thanks for the kudos, @Goose!

      Y'know, seeing everyone's positive comments has me thinking: How hard would it be to become "one of those people". Those folks that get so fed up that they stop simply whining (like I am) and actually go out and do something about what's bugging them.

      Btw - it feels good to be posting again. :-)

  3. Count me in! I just posted it on my Google+. I'd like to see it all become real. How do we make it happen? I don't want to hear what the other did or didn't do. I want to hear what you as a candidate are going to do or have done. Tell me the facts about you, not somebody else. How hard is that? Has it always been this way? Or did we just take a wrong turn somewhere? If so, when did things change? I would really like to know.

    1. That's a good question, @Michelle. I never paid much attention to campaign ads til this year. I mean, I've heard of mudslinging in the past, but this is just ridiculous.

  4. I'll jump in.

    There used to be somebody on here from another country, I can't remember where. The name was @Sorei. I'd like to hear what @Sorei thinks about American politics from an outsiders point of view. If @Sorei is still lurking. I have seen @Sorei comment in a long time. Any others on here who are non-American? I know it's off topic but I'm curious about how this election looks from the outside. Which candidate seems like a less awful pick?

    About this topic, I'm giving it a big thumbs up. Tell me where to sign and I'll do it.

    1. I'll contact @sorei and see if she has time to chime in. I'm curious what her take on our election is too. Of course, now that I think about it, she may not give a crap! lol I mean, how much do we Americans pay attention to European elections? I don't even know who the current Prime Minister of England is. (Probably shouldn't be admitting that.)

      Thanks for no longer standing by, @Longtime Bystander! ;)

    2. Steven contacted me, I NEVER would have thought anybody would want, let alone MISS my input ;-)
      will read and comment this weekend, as far as I can. :-)

  5. Yes to reforming how the candidates are allowed to campaign. I like the rules and penalties layed out here. I think it would work. I'm tired of them tell lies about each other. Just give let a candidate tell the facts about himself or herself. No more bullshit.

  6. Check these out for petitions.

    1. Nice! OK people. We have the websites. Who is going to start the petition? :)

    2. Thanks, @Stan! Now we really don't have much of an excuse to not get something started.

      @Michelle: I'm gonna look at these petition sites with Christy and see what's what. It would be kinda cool to start a petition, wouldn't it? ;)

  7. You know I think these ideas are awesome. Just a few minutes ago I saw an ad that blatantly lied about an item on the ballot in our state. How can they get away with that? Under your proposed reform they couldn't. Someone move this forward! :-)

    1. Does this mean that you and I are volunteering to start this, @Christy? ;) Between FB and G+, we oughta be able to get a few signatures. Whadya say?

  8. Replies
    1. Thanks, @Asia! When we get this petition started, I'd better see your name on it! ;)

  9. ....truth in advertising???

    :D be serious!!!

    We are talking about politics, aren't we?

    The want to be ELECTED!

    You want politician to behave differently?
    I guess you might turn this round. Before politicians will change, voters need to change.
    Let me elaborate my point of view:, do voters want to be told the truth?
    (I am not talking about individuals that might happen to hang around here)
    Normally they do not want to be told.
    Btw, that goes for germans as well.
    Do I want to know the truth?
    Normally i would say: of course! I am a grown woman, self-dependend, I guess I am at least average intelligent and of course I want to know the truth (as - I presume - anyone here would say, male or female)
    BUT is that TRUE?
    I doubt it.
    It feels good though. It feels good to say I want to know the truth.
    But let us face it: the truth will not feel good.
    I might want to know some aspects of the truth. But actually I doubt I would want to know the whole truth.
    Actually, like the saying ssisd, not knowing can be a blessing.
    Whoch causes a real dilemma, because as a grown up I cannot afford too much not-knowing.

    Politics has something to do with power.
    Power is ... in my opinion - always a dirty job.
    Power corrupts. In our days, at least (and that goes way back) maybe in some future (Star Trek) times, it will not do that anymore.

    I would want a politician to be a good chess player and a good poker player, and I would want him to have a GOOD staff with people with knowledge.

    I am afraid the only way to influence politics is to get involved and become a politic being or a politician. Both will change you forever.
    Which is why most people do not do it.

    Steven, your points read good, but I doubt they would work.
    I'd tend to call them a positive utopia.

    WE are not grown up enough for politicians like that.

    (gosh I had no idea I was that cynical. And I have no clue if I even replied to the topic as I have the vague feeling I did not...)

  10. I have to agree with @Sorei. I don't think people really want the truth. They (we) want politicians to tell us what we want to hear. Can either of the candidates really turn the economy around? No. Do they both claim they can? Yes. Isn't that what we want to hear? Yeppers.

    As for them only speaking about themselves and not the other guy, well, it's just human nature to want to remind people what a bad person the opponent is. I'm the good guy in the white hat with the star on my chest. He's the bad guy with the black hat and wicked mustache.

    I think what you proposed sounds great, but I'm not sure it could ever work in reality. I don't think people would let it.

    Now, tell me why I'm wrong. :)

    I like your blog btw.

  11. Hey, check out this campaign ad. It's way different from all of them. Of course it's Yahoo so you have to first watch an annoying ad from them. But get past it and the campaign ad is great. I'd vote for this guy. Especially after reading the article.

  12. Wow. And hmmm... Okay, so:

    @Sergio: Thanks for posting the link to that unusual ad. I kinda liked it. I'm not sure I totally "got it", but it was still refreshing. I wonder if he won?

    @sorei & @Sixes:
    As I read your comments, I was discussing it with my girlfriend @Christy (in the bedrooom putting on make up) and I was positive that every American would much rather hear the truth than a bunch of lies. @Christy...disagreed. ;-P Upon reflection, you guys are probably right. There's probably a sizable contingent of Americans (I speak only of Americans, not other nations) that would rather hear lies about their opponent than the truth about their candidate. Which is sad.

    What I found most frustrating about this past campaign was trying to slog thru the lies and innuendo to find out the truth about who stood for what. Time Magazine even did a cover story or who told more lies, and how egregious they were. (For the record, Obama and Romney were pretty much tied in the lie-telling.)

    Still, I'd like to believe that if someone made a concerted effort to reform how campaigns are run and how much money is spent on them, more people would be in favor of reform than against.

    @Sixes: I'm glad you like the blog! And I'm glad you stopped by. I hope you'll come back. ;)

    1. everybody wants to hear the truth. long as it suits him/her and is according to own beliefs.

      and that does NOT only go for americans!!!
      you will find this in germany just the same.