Since the High Court has ruled that money is equal to speech, it seems obligatory of every political candidate to raise as much money as possible to outspend their opponents - well into oblivion. That's right. If a candidate has little to no opposition, it is better to spend as much money as possible "just in case!" Just in case of what? In some instances, candidates have also decided to dig into their personal wealth to bolster their already huge campaign "war chests." But for what? An additional ton of mailers attempting to convince voters their opponent is a bum? Non-stop television advertising slamming opponents with what have been determined by fact-checkers to be "half-truths" and "misleading" statements? I know I may be getting old, but I do remember a time (long, long ago) when political candidates used their mailers and advertisements to promote their vision for the positions they were seeking, pointing out solutions to issues that needed addressing. Now, such political ads rarely do so, and if they do, they include an obligatory slam against their opponent or a policy not even related to their opponent. As I wrote a little while back, honesty in political advertising is no longer required. In fact, lying is now essentially expected.
So as political ads continue to spiral down into the buckets of perfectly mixed mud (both for slinging and for purposely distorting the view of voters), I think a new law should be passed to protect the voters from the onslaught of politicians' ads. So here goes, ready? In the event a voter has voted early, candidates and pollsters can no longer call your home and voters can "opt out" of viewing political ads on television or the Internet. I mean, if politicians have the right to use their money to jam their "free speech" into our faces over and over, I think citizens should have the right and ability to go on the Internet and indicate they have already voted, thereby making further contact fruitless and unnecessary (and prohibited). This would both spare the voters from the continued onslaught of political advertising, but also allow the politicians to target their expensive ads to voters that actually have not voted yet. Best of all, it would clearly lead to more citizens voting early, guaranteeing a rise in voter participation (albeit just to avoid the pain inflicted by incessant political ads).
As President Dwight D. Eisenhower once wrote; "The best morale exists when you never hear the word mentioned. When you hear a lot of talk about it, it's usually lousy." And this year's campaigns have become just that - lousy! Have a great week!