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Political Hurricanes

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How many of you were disturbed barrage of campaign attack ads? What about the money that was spent creating and airing those ads, 9 billion over the last 4 years?  Any of you disturbed by the incessant lying and stretching of small bits of truth to absurdities?  What about that the campaign was totally devoid of concrete proposals with specifics?

Raise your hands.  Ah, I see.  Wow, so many.  I feel the breeze of raising hands across the US as I sit here in NC.  Careful, we don’t want to start a hurricane.  Or do we?

Could we start one?  I’m tired of the frustration that this will just happen again and again, election without end.  I’m filled with ideas that I’m skeptical of.  Still they have just enough plausibility that they are worth looking at.  If we want to change we have to get it going.  So …

What happens if

  1. We create an open letter to all candidates.  If they air an attack ad, stretch the truth, or lie, we will vote someone else.
  2. We create a party, call it The Positive Truth party.   It is neither liberal nor conservative.  It provides a candidate that we can all vote for when the politicians attack and lie.  They’ll do both until there are consequences; every parent knows this.

Some results:

  1. Chaos: The first election will produce crazy results.  “What, you want me to not lie, to not attack?  What can you be thinking; I’m a politician!”  They will lie, they will attack.  They will lose a huge number of votes.
  2. New Representatives: As a consequence of the chaos, some Positive Truth Party politicians might be elected.
  3. Idea and Methods based Campaigns: After the first election a strong swing towards presenting ideas with tangible methods to get there.  “I can’t just attack my opponent, sling blatant untruths about him?  Well what am I going to campaign on?  You mean I have to have real ideas, proposals, and plans to get there?  That’s no fun!”
  4. Lower campaign expenses.  “What am I going to do for TV ads if I can’t attack my opponent?  This will be tough!”  What are they going to spend all that money on?
  5. Move Away from Gridlock:  “Hmmm you know that proposal that Jane had during the election wasn’t bad.  Maybe we can use it.”  When you stop attacking people, you might be able to work with them.  Every schoolyard kid knows this.  Why don’t our politicians?

I’m skeptical.  This sort of stuff never works.  But it is just too much of a thorn. It needs fixing, alternatives.

I’m so liberal that I sometimes find myself circled round to conservative positions.  My friend, Holly, is very conservative.  “I’m glad you’re going to vote, but Holly, we are just going to cancel each other.”  We talk.   We agree on so many things: wow, common ground.  We both think these ideas are a good place to start.  If we didn’t, I wouldn’t bother.   My childhood friend, David, is pretty good with this sort of thing.  Maybe he can help with tangible steps to do.  What about you?  You have ideas?

Give me your comments.  Let’s get this hurricane started!

2 Comments

  1. Grass roots movements are the best. Up here in Michigan you couldn’t even figure out what the crux of the proposals on the ballot were without doing some pretty heavy research to find out what they were without some sort of attack ad coming up.

  2. Like so much else, political science is increasingly based in actual science. The reason we have attack ads, stressing the negative about the opposition candidate rather than stressing one’s own attributes, record, plan or vision, is that they have been proven again and again to work. More bang for the buck. This is based on brain science. We react more powerfully to fear than hope. This is especially true of the conservative brain. Generally we are not very persuadable by reason and good argument. We latch onto the things that confirm our established bias and reject the things that do not fit into our version of reality. It doesn’t matter if those things are true or not. If a politician is playing to strengthen their base, lies are just as and sometimes more effective than the truth. I sympathize with what you are saying, but I really doubt it will go anywhere.

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