Posted by: trashee | August 7, 2008

Attack ads

I don’t know about you, but I think attack ads used in political campaigns are not only despicable and cater to the whims of the lowest common denominators, but totally remove any semblance of honest and constructive debate from a political battle.

The penultimate attack ad is this one – shot at the height of the Goldwater / Johnson campaign in 1964.

A little while back, the McCain camp put out this ad, implying that Obama is more celebrity than substance and that being popular in the public eye doesn’t necessarily mean that you are ready to lead the country.

Note the clip of a certain Paris Hilton? Well, Paris put together her own clip as a retort to John McCain. I must say, my opinion of Ms. Hilton has multiplied a thousandfold upon seeing this!

Of course, our own little Stevie Harper, being an admirer of all things negative, cynical and especially American, hires his own team to sic his attack ad dawgs on anything and anyone that disagrees with the Conservative dogma.

All told, these ads, while they do make for some good chuckles, deflect attention away from real policy debates. Stephen Harper wants to debate the environment? well, put something on the table to talk about it and then talk about it! Demeaning an opponent’s argument by attacking the debater is a debating no-no and such attacks are called ad hominem – meaning that the attack is against the person rather than the argument or point. This implies, of course, that the person making the counter-point has no or little basis to pull apart his adversary’s point.

Alas, the Harperites are flush with cash and we can expect more of these inane ads as we gear up for what likely will be a fall election in this country.

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