Perspective: Political Commercials


Eleanor Peterson

Eleanor Peterson

Eleanor Peterson

On one particular Saturday evening while I was finishing the dinner dishes, the Tv blaring in the background, one of many political commercials appeared on the television. 

     “I’ve been living with kidney disease for years, one in ten oregonians have a pre-existing condition like me. And yet, John Smith would weaken health coverage for people with cancer, diabetes, parkinsons. It’s cruel and it’s wrong.” The commercial continues on bashing John Smith, until their 30 seconds comes to a close and the next company is given their chance to convince you of something.

     While I finished what I was doing I was left thinking about this commercial. Smith doesn’t sound like he would make a great candidate, so I suppose one would vote for his competitor. But, why? What is he going to do better? His commercial gave us no idea of what life under his governess might be like. What reason are we given to vote for him other than that we might prefer him to his opponent?

     The question I ask, is why does he feel the need to lessen the reputation of his opponent in order to win? Would we think the same of him if he were to state his own political plan?

     When was the last time we saw a commercial that didn’t involve fear mongering? That actually said something positive. That made us want to vote for someone based on what they would do rather than fearing their opponent. When was the last time we voted for the best choice rather than the lesser of two evils?

     While the goal of these commercials is to make us dislike their opponent, it makes me far more opposed to the benefactor of the commercial.

     They should be able to win based on their merits rather than their opponents’ flaws.

     They should be focused on raising themselves above their competitors, rather than bringing them down to their own level. 

Eleanor Peterson