Monday, November 07, 2005

Political ads

Though a Maryland resident (how odd to say that), I am privy to the tv spots currently running related to the various Virginia political races. I can't say that I have ever been a big fan of television ads, but I believe they've actually managed to reach a new low in Virginia. These commercials are insufferable, with each candidate exchanging wildly unsubstantiated claims about the other. Kilgore has run a dirty fear-mongering campaign based on Kaine's opposition to the death penalty, while Kaine has tried to scare voters into believing Kilgore to be some type of pro-life neantherdal.

This last bit is especially frustrating. I've also seen it on display in the Attorney General's race. The other night I saw one that was critical of the Republican candidate Bob McDonnell's views on abortion. Who in the blue hell cares what the Attorney General of Virginia thinks about abortion? For that matter, who even cares about the governor's position? Thanks to Roe v. Wade, the states have no say in the matter whatsoever. Is pro-life Attorney General Bob McDonnell going to unilaterally strike down abortion in his state? Frankly, his thoughts on abortion are as relevant to this race as his views on the Terrell Owens situation.

I witnessed this a few years back. Rudy Giuliani - who is pro-choice - was running for Mayor in 1989 and David "let them vent" Dinkins' team ran an ad attacking Rudy for not being pro-choice enough. It was one of the most absurd things I have ever seen, and what's more, it had absolutely nothing to do with the position they were running for. It was a mayors race, for crying out loud.

Don't get me wrong. I am concerned about no other issue more than abortion. It is a grave evil, and I hold out hope that society will one day correct its grave error on the matter. But as long as Roe stands, what is the point in bringing up the issue in any local race? It would certainly be completely relevant were Roe to be reversed, but until then, why must we suffer through these absolutely idiotic spots which do nothing to clarify where candidates really stand on issues that truly matter? Then again, why am I even bothering to critique political practices that aren't about to change anytime soon?

I've always contended that if anyone actually makes their decisions on who to vote for based on a tv ad, they should simply stay at home. In light of the Virginia ads, I am more convinced than ever in that belief.


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