Exhausted: Presidential election overwhelms media

In case you haven’t noticed, we are in the midst of a presidential election year. If you have managed to avoid seeing and hearing any of the infamous political ads, I commend you on a job well done. As Americans, we prepare for the eventual barrage that every election season brings. What if—and this is a crazy thought—instead of all these silly defamation campaigns, the candidates focusedon themselves? 

The U.S. presidential election has become a reality show of sorts, pitting the candidates against each other. They use varying types of political ads on television and radio to convince voters to vote one way or the other.

According to The New York Times, each of the two major political parties has raised roughly $1.3 billion for their campaigning needs. That’s an enormous amount of money spent to market a candidate. Granted, money is, of course, needed for these candidates to travel the country, but campaign ads are more so an unnecessary expense.

From a marketing standpoint, these commercials are excellent pieces of propaganda. But for those who can overlook the obvious bias of these ads, they become little more than another commercial to ignore.

YSU graduate student Rebecca Steh said political ads are one of her biggest pet peeves.

“I feel like they take so much out of context that 90 percent of the info is incorrect, and people are being misled,” she said.

Candidates should focus on their personal merits as a candidate instead of what the other candidate has or will do wrong. I would much rather hear about what former Gov. Mitt Romney or President Barack Obama plans to do if elected, rather than what horrible fate would befall our country if his competitor won. Degrading your opponent is not a becoming action for anybody, let alone a person running for public office.

Now, I realize that the candidates do take to the road in certain areas of the country to campaign for their cause, and we have the televised debates that show us the candidates going head to head on their platforms. This is by far a more effective way of campaigning.

Cut out the TV and radio ads, and save the cash. I mean, if people really want to donate thousands of dollars, why not donate to a more worthy societal cause?

What I’m calling for is just a more basic grassroots return to the political campaigning of the old days run solely on a candidate’s ability to move crowds with his words. This not only would bring out a better-informed American public, but a better image for the candidates and, of course, a cheaper price tag for the campaigns.

Moving back to the old style of campaigning with public appearances and debates would better allow the candidates to show their true colors to the people. Beyond that, I think the candidates would gain more respect in the people’s eyes as men standing on their own merits — and not on the faults of another. 

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