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U.S. | Education & Student Activism

Presidential elections should be more like golf
by Ali Raza
Tuesday Jul 10th, 2012 2:46 AM
Election season is one of the worst times of the year. Especially presidential elections. In today’s climate, it seems we are voting not for the BEST candidate, but for the candidate who we believe won’t botch the job most completely.
89739665-republican-us.jpg
89739665-republican-us.jpg

Election season is one of the worst times of the year. Especially presidential elections. In today’s climate, it seems we are voting not for the BEST candidate, but for the candidate who we believe won’t botch the job most completely.

One of my biggest problems with presidential elections is the advertising. As a student and recent graduate of Ohio University’s esteemed Journalism program with a focus in Advertising, I am one of those people who watch TV particularly to see the commercials. And the techniques in political advertising absolutely baffle me.

Political and campaign advertising today is more about bashing the opponent than proclaiming a stance. You are much more likely to see a Mitt Romney sponsored ad that calls out all of President Obama’s faults or past voting records than you are to see a Romney sponsored ad that explains his stance on immigration or the economy, for example. And vice versa. Neither side is innocent of perpetuating this “knock out the opponent” type advertising.

The media, particularly the arena of political advertising, has become a boxing ring where candidates duke it out, first trying to knock out the other opponent before trying to strengthen and educate voters on their own political views and what they will do if elected. This type of advertising leaves a large portion of voters completely uneducated as to what they are actually voting for, unless they have taken the time and care to do their research. When voters go to the polls, many of them will not be voting FOR someone, but rather AGAINST someone else.

My question is, how has this been allowed to happen? Undoubtedly, the two-party political system that America sports and swears by is failing. Again, I present the boxing metaphor. In any debate, it seems that it’s always Democrats vs. Republicans as opposed to true philosophies and beliefs standing on their own, separate from a label associated with one party or the other. Any idea that anyone has today can be labeled as conservative or liberal, democratic or republican, and perhaps most devastatingly, right or wrong.

Political advertising is not in a good place. It reflects how things are done in Washington, gangs battling against each other. The reflection is poor at best. Personally, I would like to see these political boxing matches become something more akin to a golf outing, where each player is shooting for their own score. Because doesn’t it feel much better to have your guy win based on his merits and ideas than to have the other guy lose because his punches weren’t strong enough?

by reader
Tuesday Jul 10th, 2012 10:25 AM
You are given false corporate choices -- CNNABCCBSNBC have already decided you get only these and others are blocked. In CA you cannot even write-in a vote anymore.

Vote Green Party or Peace & Freedom Party.