Can we ban hate campaign Ads next time?
Nov. 10, 2016 Southwest News-Herald, Des Plaines Valley News, the Reporter Newspapers, the Regional News, IllinoisNewsNetwork.com
By Ray Hanania
Has anyone else noticed that America is becoming a polarized nation? And worse, the two sides seem to be getting angrier and angrier?
I’ve never been happier to see an election end. The viciousness of the election for President has only set the tone for elections across the country. And it has also set the tone for how we feel as Americans.
How can anyone be happy or confident after watching all the vicious campaign ads this election season?
No matter who wins as president, this country will still have the same problems and our national leaders will solve none.
Healthcare is a disaster and costs keep rising. Crime is spreading and every weekend the death toll rises in Chicago and cities across America.
They keep telling us our economy is doing great. Really? Why are there so many poor people on the street begging for money? The other day I drove through one intersection and counted six people panhandling, holding cardboard signs with words scribbled in black marker.
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Our schools are terrible. Teachers seem more focused on their pensions and salaries than they do with churning out high school graduates who read better than an 8th grade level who are ready for college.
Maybe not being ready for college is a good thing: most families can’t afford to send their kids to college because the costs are outrageous. It’s easier to borrow to buy a luxury car and pay it off in five years than to borrow the same amount for a college education and then have to pay it off for life.
I haven’t gotten into the hot button issues of terrorism and rising immigration. People are coming into this country illegally and demanding legal protections and benefits. If you can sneak in and have a baby here, you have a good shot of citizenship. And you don’t even have to learn the language or the history!
These are the issues that are buried under the hours and hours of ugly, personal and vicious campaign advertising that is filling our TV screens. As many as six Ads scream out in anger and viciousness attacking Trump, Clinton, Bruce Rauner, Michael Madigan and other legislators every commercial break.
The ads are a boon to the TV Media, which is making hundreds of millions of dollars in profit. But what about their moral responsibility to the public they serve? And who are behind all of these Political Action Committees that are pouring millions into some of these campaigns.
Something stinks here, folks.
We complain about it, but we, the voters, are the reason it occurs. The people who pay for these mudslinging attack ads know that’s what drives our vote. Hate has replaced anger as a motivation for voting.
First, they got us angry. Now they go right to the hate. Is hate the only way to move people to vote? People hate Trump. They hate Clinton. No one is looking at the issues, just the BS spin.
I’m writing this before Tuesday’s election, and by the time you read this, you will know who won as president – maybe – and you should know who survived the local and regional races, too.
I give credit to several candidates who used humor in their Ads, including Leslie Munger and Susana Mendoza, candidates running for State Comptroller, a public office that probably doesn’t need to exist, and Raja Krishnamoorthi who ran and won in the 8th Congressional District.
I tuned everyone out but them. Voters don’t need hate. They want intelligent and creative messaging. What happened to ads that moved voters to embrace a candidate, not to hate a candidate?
What happened to great ideas?
No matter who wins for Comptroller, I think Munger and Mendoza should take their show on the road, together, and advocate for a change in how candidates conduct themselves in elections.
They can head up a new state agency, the State Board of Happy, Positive Elections.
(Ray Hanania is an award winning former Chicago City Hall reporter and political columnist. Email him at email@example.com.)
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