|English: Seal of the President of the United States Español: Escudo del Presidente de los Estados Unidos Македонски: Печат на Претседателот на Соединетите Американски Држави. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
Am I the only one who has noticed the deluge of advertising about the 2012 U.S. elections? Of course not! Even if you don't watch television or listen to the radio, you have in some way been affected by campaign advertising.
Some of you may feel like 4 year old Abigael Evans whose viral video received national media attention over the past couple of days (you can see the video below if you missed it). Or if you're like me, you merely shut most of the advertising out. Still I can't help but notice the ads everywhere. In every mail delivery for the past few months my household has received bundles of fliers for candidates and state propositions. Most of these end up in my recycle bin without even a second glance.
I can only shake my head at the tremendous waste of resources in generating all of this printed material. Multiply my household by all of the others in Los Angeles and we have decimated more than a few trees to create refuse that few will pay attention to.
Sure, the advertising agencies, the printers, and the media outlets are reaping a financial boon in the season leading to election day. I'm all for any boost to the economy, but still I wonder if it could be done a better way. The ads are starting to drive some of us nuts and for whose benefit besides those who create the ads and those who deliver them?
In the end, spending on both the Democrat and Republican sides will exceed one billion dollars for each party. This doesn't even include spending by the independents, the other races for offices, or the state propositions and referendums. Billions and billions of dollars! The impact of this spending will overall not be very great for most of us other than the irritation it provides.
There have been suggestions that Obama and Romney forgo advertising from now to election day in order to contribute remaining funds to help the victims of the recent megastorm Sandy. Since most of the spending has already been done the remaining funds would be a mere pittance in comparison. The gesture might look good, but I don't see it happening.
We've already had the debates and daily coverage of the presidential campaigns. Do we really need the constant barrage of mostly negative ads? Whatever happened to volunteer campaigners who were on fire for a cause they believed in? Maybe no one cares that much anymore.
It might be nice if future campaigns took a more responsible approach to getting messages across to the voters. Wise campaign spending could be an exemplary statement about what a candidate will do with our money should he (or she) become president.
Yeah, that's ridiculous I know. Americans don't want practical campaigns. Or do they? Maybe all this crap is being foisted upon us by the media. Somewhere a voice of reason needs to start crying out--for crying out loud.
Do the dollars make the difference? Are Americans getting their money's worth with the presidents they get? What would be a better approach to choosing a major world leader like a U.S. president?