With $160 million spent to date on negative campaign ads, America will soon choose between two undesirable candidates in many races. Besides wasting money which could be used to meet a true societal need, negative ads drag down our democracy. At a time when the bar for leadership lays on the ground, only the inattentive stumble and trip over it.
When a politician has his hands in a supporter’s pocket, then the metal rod can “jump up” and trip the salivating incumbent intent on obtaining another greenback. Negative ads do two things. They dig a hole for the bar, driving it underground while also serving as a magnet dragging down the person running for office. This combination makes the offenses of greedy influence peddlers seem par for the course.
The last week of the campaign means the public will be inundated with negative TV ads, direct mail pieces and phone calls. It looks like time for another media fast. My request to candidates and their supporters is donate the money you would have spent on negative ads to a local food bank. The public is hungry for something different. Who has the guts to try it?