I’ve had it. Absolutely, positively had it. It’s everywhere and it should be nowhere, and it’s going to get a lot worse before it gets better. If we want to avoid new stress and reduce the stress we already have, we must protect ourselves from it. What am I talking about??
Negative political ads.
One of the basic techniques for taking care of yourself during stressful times is to avoid negative people; they can bring you down in a hurry, especially if you are already stressed and therefore vulnerable. But nothing brings me down faster than the political ads that go on and on about why so-and-so is such a terrible person and therefore a terrible candidate. I have to protect myself, and I change the channel. I think you should do the same. Here are three reasons why:
First, we don’t want candidate A to tell us why candidate B is bad, we want to hear why candidate A is good. Tell us why you should be elected and I’m all ears. Tell us why the other guy shouldn't be elected and I can’t change the channel fast enough. In my current heightened stressful condition, I can feel the stress of these ads percolating through my organs. Give me an uplifting message full of hope, not a message that fills me with anger and fear. If you’re currently stressed (or even if you’re not), doesn’t it bother you too?
Next, not only does it stress me to hear insults and the mistakes and poor behavior of someone, but I have to take them with a grain of salt anyway. Things are taken out of context to be purposely misleading, and some of the statements are outright, bald-faced lies. These ads are skillfully produced to play on our fears. Who wants to hear that kind of stuff?
Third, I find it terribly sad and even downright scary to think that such negative and usually inaccurate ads are actually effective in persuading the public. They must work, however, or candidates wouldn’t spend so much money on them. How is it possible that anyone could buy into this drivel? That’s pretty stressful too!
Maybe if we stop watching them they will stop producing them, and we can hear an uplifting message about how candidates will make things better.