Monday, January 31, 2011

The Problem With Political Attack Ads: Truth

         "If we don't believe in freedom  of expression for people we dispise we don't believe in it at all." Noam Chomsky

All but a very few people know that political attack ads are purposely deceitful. To me, and I'm sure most other people the truth is an extremely valuable part of our society and how that society operates in a successful manner. So why do some politicians use negative attack ads which at times are composed of absolute lies?

         Now I admit that most of the time political attack ads don't bother me because I don't watch television. I am aware of attack ads because I read the newspaper and follow current events on the net. I like to read a wide variety of political commentary. It is healthy to read various political views and to read opposing views to your own. All good commentary and debate has the possibility to make us think and examine our own views and that's a good thing.

       Political attack ads seem to be used by those who are not able to support their own views with logic and evidence. Political attack ads are used by those who have an agenda which is not up front so the attack ads are used to make it look like their position is plausible. In other words weak ideas and weaker politicians resort to attack ads. Can't support the idea: attack the opposition on a personal basis. Make the opposition look like a weirdo or kook of some kind. So gobs of money is spent on attack ads which are not only mean and nasty but not very close to the truth and in some cases outright lies.

    So why has a bee got under my bonnet now to rant about political attack ads? Recently the Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) ran an attack ad for one day. There was much criticism as people thought it was way over the line as far as truth was concerned. Questions were asked and then Michael Iggnateif came on saying, "Yes, Yes ,Yes." So things were obviously taken out of such context that there was a huge backlash to the ad. Oh yes, the CPC said they were only running it for one day????

    So why do people continue to support any  group which deals in untruths? Any group which deals in untruths should be severely punished at the ballot box no matter who they are. Truth has got to have some value to it. To me truth is crucial. We cannot allow political parties to use deceit any longer. Stand up for truth.


  1. It has to be because they work on some level, with some people. Part of the problem with democracy is that if you have a bunch of people who can be led by lies, you don't have a good government. In Canada, it seems MUCH less prevalent than here in the US. Attack ads, I mean.

  2. Thanks for your visit to Hiawatha House.
    I sadly know that attack ads work and why they work. I just can't understand why someone could stoop so low as to use lies to gain something in the political area. Is there no shame in our politicians.
    I want people to stand up and say no to lies. Sound naive?

  3. I think Noam Chomski's excellent quote says it all.
    Attack adds, and all the other thoughtless and hateful things that people are wont to say, are the inevitable price of free speach. We have the right to say them, but we also have the responsibility not to.

  4. I agree the key is responsibility. However, there is responsibility on people who listen. The people have to decide not to support those who use negative attack ads which contain deliberate lies.
    Thanks for droppong to visit at Hiawatha House.