The presidential campaign is heating up. Speeches are getting nastier, the blogs are getting tougher, and the campaign commercials are running about as often as Seinfeld re-runs. One thing that got me wondering–after each campaign ad, one of the two presidential candidates says he “approves this message.” How did this start?
As I quickly learned, candidates don’t do this because they want to–they do it because they have to. The disclaimers are a direct result of the campaign reform laws of 2002 (co-sponsored by John McCain). The goal of the laws, according to an article from CNN, is to keep soft money, the “unlimited and unregulated contributions to national political parties,” out of campaign commercials. Additionally, the statement from each candidate is designed to force candidates to take credit for any commercial mudslinging. Pretty clever.
But does this mean dirty politics are a thing of the past? Of course not! PC Magazine explains that during the 2004 election, the more aggressive rhetoric simply moved from TV and onto the Internet. On the Web, campaign ads aren’t regulated so things can get far more negative.
What are your opinions of campaign ads? Do they have any effect on how you vote? Do you find them informative or irritating? Are you glad that today’s candidates are forced to take credit for what they say in ads? Please leave an approved message below.
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