Young Voters Speak Out: Each day, RR.com will spotlight politically minded youth writers from throughout the U.S. speaking their minds on Election 2012. First-time voters, student journalists and new graduates will debate the Obama vs. Romney race to the White House. Young Democrats, Republicans and ‘Undecided’ Americans are eager to play politics and choose the next Commander & Chief.
Read K. Heidi Smucker's thoughts from an Independent perspective:
I am nestled comfortably on the couch with my family, anxiously awaiting the Olympic women's gymnastics broadcast, when another round of annoying commercials begin. Imagine my surprise when instead of the usual inspirational messages from Proctor and Gamble or Powerade, a Romney attack ad leads the commercial break. I'm even more surprised when I hear both of my parents scoff; their cynicism is obvious. Apparently even the Olympics, something every American citizen can feel patriotic about, are not safe from ominous political attack ads.
Every election season is saturated with attack ads rife with sinister background music and misleading quotes brought to the public by mysterious Super PACs. In our political machine, they're commonplace, expected -- just business as usual. It might be interesting to note then that Mexico outlawed all negative television campaign ads in their most recent presidential election.
Don't worry, I already know what you're thinking. Yes, I'm aware of the freedom of speech is protected by the first amendment. Of course I recognize it's one of the greatest things about our country. But consider this, do you personally know anyone who has admitted a political attack ad has swayed his or her opinion on whom to vote for? Attack ads permeate the media during every election season and each year they seem more outrageous than the last. My question is, who actually listens?
If my politically neutral parents, who are ACTUAL swing voters, aren't convinced by attack ads than what audience are the ads made for? Swing voters like my parents and I certainly aren't listening. It seems like a backwards strategy to convince people to vote for a candidate based not on what they have accomplished but on what their opponent has done.
In Mexico's election, candidates only aired commercials extolling their strengths. How different would our political climate be if the United States followed suit?