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Archive for Saturday, October 21, 2006

Positive ads?

October 21, 2006

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To the editor:

A radio ad this morning suggested that I could save enough money to buy CDs, "so I would never have to listen to another campaign ad." Wow! And then it struck me: I ought to want to listen to campaign ads. But who does?

Campaign ads ought to draw my attention, not repulse me. They could even lift my spirits! They could! Candidates, after all, are those who seek to shape my world. Why shouldn't their spot ad tell me what they believe most deeply about my city, state or nation? Shouldn't idealism, our greatest American treasure, appeal for my vote! Why not speak a line about specific things they think are important? Why should I care about someone afraid to tell me who they are?

Negative ads work. I know. But negative ads assume some ideal that denies our nation's soul. They assume that power derives not from attacking the ideas but the person of a challenger. They subvert understanding with sound bites of sensationalism to satisfy our lesser selves.

The radio ad could appeal to anyone: no more campaign ads. But could there be something better? What about an ad I would look forward to hearing again? I've never heard one, but I'll bet it is possible to write one!

Hal W. LeMert,

Lawrence

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