What's Great About Tuesday's Elections: No More Ads
At this point in the game, every campaign ad on TV makes me shudder with rage. Whether it’s one of Scott Brown’s twisted pro-America propaganda spots or one of Elizabeth Warren’s thin-lipped whines about Scott Brown, whether it’s Mitt Romney talking down to me like a penniless ingrate or an ad of Barack Obama smiling and telling me everything is rosy as can be, they all send me into a blind fit.
It feels like forever that these ads have been invading my home when I’m most vulnerable, plopped down at night in front of the TV. And I’m sick of it. I know that it’s been going on for so long that I should be numb. But I’m not. Sadly, I’m going the other way and am more exasperated and disgusted than ever as campaign commercials crash over me like boiling waves of grime.
I’m not alone. Voters everywhere are dropping out, refusing to turn on the TV, and yanking the phone out of the wall for fear of pollsters and needlessly aggressive survey-takers pinning them down. Romney campaign aides are even administering nondescript pills and medicines to reporters who are slowly being driven to the very brink of craziness from election fatigue. The Election Machine is so pervasive and relentlessly punishing that even children are openly weeping at the mere mention of a candidate. Earlier this week, everyone with an Internet connection got a taste of salty baby tears when 4-year-old Abigael Evans, of Colorado, broke down sobbing in a video that went viral. Why? “Just because I’m tired of Bronco Bama and Mitt Romney,” she blubbered, having just listened to NPR coverage in the car with her mother:
Why is this election so much worse than ever before? In part, we can thank the judicial wisdom of the U.S. Supreme Court for this ceaseless, rattling assault. If you look at the numbers, Obama and John McCain spent a combined $444 million on ads during the 2008 campaign. But now that fat-cat corporations and unions are allowed to throw money at candidates faster than they can suck it in, courtesy of the Citizens United decision, Romney and Obama have shattered all known spending records. Political wizards predict the total spent on ads could double the 2008 ad numbers and surpass $1 billion by the time this cock-fight for the hearts and minds of the American people is won.
In response to Baby Abigael’s highly public crack-up, NPR issued a statement: “On behalf of NPR and all other news outlets, we apologize to Abigael and all the many others who probably feel like her. We must confess, the campaign’s gone on long enough for us, too. Let’s just keep telling ourselves: ‘Only a few more days, only a few more days, only a few more days.’”
Thank Christ. That is, at least for a little while, until the next round of elections hijack our lives again.