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Campaign ads can get downright ugly. Why do candidates embrace mud-slingling so easily?

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Welcome to the discussion.


  • daniel hutchins posted at 10:21 am on Sun, Oct 24, 2010.

    daniel hutchins Posts: 1342

    Through education, learn and realized

    1) that there is a corporation, and US citizenship of the 14th amendment variety, is membership in it.

    2) that it is now possible to join the same de jure government that we once learned about in our high school government classes.

  • daniel hutchins posted at 10:19 am on Sun, Oct 24, 2010.

    daniel hutchins Posts: 1342

    Jerome: Respectfully, this brings me to two points for which you have always argued:

    1) If you are registered to vote, you are a corporate member of the corporation, and you give consent to all of its corruption, and you agree to accept the consequences. You give consent to bombing innocent foreign nations, false propaganda on foreign nations, biological experiments, etc.

    [The California National Guard is sworn to uphold and defend California, not fight in foreign wars. There is no emergency that makes it necessary to send them overseas.]

    2) cont.

  • daniel hutchins posted at 10:11 am on Sun, Oct 24, 2010.

    daniel hutchins Posts: 1342

    Jerome: Thank you for responding. I’m sorry I didn’t see your response until now.

    You wrote, “voters to reject ads that are obviously dishonest.”

    Jerome: Your suggestion would require a critical mass beyond a majority to all agree not to vote for dishonest politicians.

    Moreover, if the voters realized that both the democrat and republican candidates, at least a the federal level, were incredibly corrupt, they couldn’t organize to agree upon the same 3rd party candidate, and either the democrat or republican candidate would win the election anyway, because the votes from dissenting voters would be counted amongst a spectrum of other candidates.

  • Doug Chaney posted at 9:17 am on Sun, Oct 24, 2010.

    Doug Chaney Posts: 1232

    Now this is what I would consider a very good blog and a debate between these 4 intellectual persons withoout any belittlement or vindictiveness. Thanks for making my Sunday morning coffee enjoyable by showing your real civility and intellegence. All good points were made and all contributed interesting and valuable points of view concerning these "whose the worse scumbag" commercials and incessant mailers. I figure 2 important will come of these types of campaigning: paper recyclers will be working overtime and TV stations will become humongously rich. LOL

  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 4:46 am on Sun, Oct 24, 2010.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    • Jerome states… Once again, as long as negative advertising gets them over the finish line, they'll do it. My question still stands - does anyone believe they should be prohibited from doing it?

    The way this question is framed, it can never be prohibited. Otherwise, powerful people who do not like truthful things about themselves, that is negative in a commercial, would attempt to prohibit that speech. That slippery slope could result in another North Korea.

    To me, it is not a question of weather negative advertising works or not. I have seen both positive and negative campaign ads that were obviously misleading or down right falsehoods. It is a question of what is right and wrong and defining what that is. Should ends justify the means? Should a person, who intentionally produces any campaign ad, knowing that it is blatantly false, be able to broadcast that ad? Should lies be protected in the guise of free speech? I think the answer should be yes, but conditional.

    If you look at what pharmaceutical industry has to do legally in their drug commercials maybe that should be model, or the conditional requirements of politicians. They can make claims in their ad of their product in that commercial, but before the commercial is over, they have to state all the negative side effects that drug is known to cause. The commercial cannot simply state opinion of the drug from their perspective; it must express the truth of possible harm to the consumer.
    So the politician making claims both positive and negative in their ad, maybe, should have requirements of some type of disclosure of where the consumer can verify that claim or the actual verification itself. If pharmaceuticals can be forced to pay for the air time to disclose possible side effects, maybe the politicians who write the laws should have the same requirements put upon themselves.

  • Jerome Kinderman posted at 8:47 pm on Sat, Oct 23, 2010.

    Jerome R Kinderman Posts: 2370

    There are many things that we "can" do; but most people just don't go out and do them unless it serves a purpose, positive or otherwise. What this still boils down to - understanding that negative advertising is guaranteed to a great extent because of the First Amendment - why would they continue to partake in this largely distasteful practice if it weren't effective; if it didn't serve their needs to win an election?

    Once again, as long as negative advertising gets them over the finish line, they'll do it. My question still stands - does anyone believe they should be prohibited from doing it?

    True supporters of the Constitution would agree that one's freedom of expression outweighs most negative impacts it might cause to others. Still, there are few who believe such speech should be curtailed because of the unhappiness it might create. That is until their own goals are threatened by such prohibitive measures - then watch how quickly their tunes will change.

    As I’ve already revealed my belief that such advertising is effective, of course I’d be interested in hearing from anyone who believes that such negative politicking does not work. My interest would naturally be limited to what would they think should be done about it.

  • Manuel Martinez posted at 6:31 pm on Sat, Oct 23, 2010.

    Manuel Martinez Posts: 641

    To add my interpretation to Daniel's statement, it isn't that they need be barred from doing so(there is debate about that), it simply is the realization of the situation. Candidates embrace that which is at their disposal. Simple.

  • Jerome Kinderman posted at 6:10 pm on Sat, Oct 23, 2010.

    Jerome R Kinderman Posts: 2370

    Mr. Hutchins, you aren't obliquely suggesting that politicians should be prohibited from engaging in such advertising practices, are you?

    The only solution that I can come to would be for the voters to reject ads that are obviously dishonest; and then reject those politicians who are using them to such an unfair advantage. If they're true, then there's not much that can be done; nor should there be.

  • daniel hutchins posted at 5:45 pm on Sat, Oct 23, 2010.

    daniel hutchins Posts: 1342

    Why do candidates embrace mud-slingling so easily?

    They can.

  • Jerome Kinderman posted at 12:14 pm on Sat, Oct 23, 2010.

    Jerome R Kinderman Posts: 2370

    The title to this article must be a rhetorical question, right? The only reason "[w]hy ... candidates embrace mud-slinging so easily" is because those ads ARE effective.

    For all of the banter and complaining about these horrible tactics, the bottom line is when down to single-digit separation in the opinion polls, candidates will do absolutely anything it takes to get ahead. Why else would anyone spend $150 million to be governor? Politics is a full-contact sport - and it does get gory. Most people realize just by the number of football games that are watched each week that Americans love a messy fight - the gorier, the better. It’s no different on the political field of battle.

    The only reason they complain about the ads is because the better side of their consciences need the salve that only believing they’re non-violent will assuage. The politicians are only giving Americans what they want – and they’re only too happy to oblige.



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