Posted: Monday, November 1, 2010 8:01 pm
By: Lisa Smartt
In case you haven’t noticed, we’re in the middle of an election. Regardless of your political leanings, you’ll agree that the process is part of our great American tradition. But there are some things about political ads on both sides of the aisle that I’ve never understood.
Political ads often say things like, “I’m one of you. I’m like you. You’re like me. We’re like each other. Why, we could practically be cousins.” OK. I don’t understand this strategy. I don’t want to vote for someone like me. YOU don’t want to vote for someone like me. I can’t find my checkbook. I can’t name the presidents in order. I made a C in high school government. I get lost easily. There are clothes on the floor of my closet. I forget names. Yes, I’m honest. I’m painfully honest. I’m honestly not qualified for public office. If you’re running for office, I hope you’re not like me. I hope you’re a lot better.
Political ads will arrive in the mail that say, “I share your values.” OK. Again, I think political strategists are not thinking clearly. If I ever do run for public office (and I won’t) let me assure you that I will never send a political ad to “occupant” that says, “I share your values.” Y’see, “occupant” could have a lot of values I don’t hold. What if “occupant” thinks we should all mow our grass twice a week? What if “occupant” values hyper cleanliness, organized kitchen cabinets, and never letting kids get dirty? Isn’t it a little bit impossible that my values could be the same as all the other “occupants” in the world? I know. I’m far too smart to have made a C in my high school government class. You’re not the first one to notice.
I think it might be a tad refreshing to turn on the TV and hear a politician say, “I’m not gonna talk about my opponent ‘cause my grandma said, ‘If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.’”
I think it would be funny to get an ad in the mail that says, “I didn’t put a picture of my family on this ad because all my kids are at that weird ‘ugly’ stage right now.” That’s what my parents would have done if they had run for political office when I was in 7th grade. OK. 5th grade. 6th grade. 7th grade and first part of 8th grade. Trust me. You don’t want to see the pictures. It was a bad run. Of course, because my parents are my parents they would have said something like, “You look beautiful, Honey. Of course, your picture should be on the print ad.” My parents would have lost the election and it all would have been because “occupant” thought that anyone who carried that kind of DNA couldn’t be trusted.
It’s election time. I know. Some of you are tired. You’re tired of the talk, the ads, the endless banter. But don’t grow weary. It’s all part of a glorious tradition. We get to vote. We get to choose. So go out and do it. Even if you made a C in high school government, your voice needs to be heard.
Contact Lisa at firstname.lastname@example.org