Political advertisements have become too aggressive


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Columnist Max Honermeier believes that while not all political advertisements negative, there is room for improvements.

Election season in America is impossible to avoid. Every television and radio station blares advertisements demanding that you vote for this candidate or stay away from that one. The sensory overload is enough to make me want to crawl into a hole and pretend elections don’t exist.

Political commercials do serve an important purpose: to help voters make an informed decision on election day. However, the ads have gotten completely out of control. The candidates for our nation’s leaders go far beyond what’s necessary to spread their message to the public. 

The whole political fiasco that goes on for months in advance of the election is an unneeded stress on everyone’s mental health. Citizens have enough to worry about in their own bubble of life without constant demands to consider major issues that an individual realistically has very little influence on.

Not only are we subjected to political ads for far too long, but those ads often have a negative, even hateful tone that leaves a bad taste in the mouth. One of the most egregious commercials is sponsored by the Republican nominee running for Illinois governor, Darren Bailey.

The ad starts off by showing clips of theft and arson being committed, according to the Chicago Tribune. Bailey then claims, “Under J.B. Pritzker and Lori Lightfoot, crime is out of control.”

The Tribune clarifies that while crime in Chicago did increase early on in Pritzker’s term, the same was true for other U.S. cities due to the pandemic and the murder of George Floyd. In fact, as of recently, rates of shootings and homicides in Chicago have fallen by 20% and 18% respectively since last year.

Bailey’s ad is a blatant attempt to get people riled up by presenting misinformation. Not only is the violent content of the commercial enough to ruin someone’s day, it’s designed to scare the public into voting for Bailey, who will supposedly solve the issue of crime.

Ads like Bailey’s negatively impact the whole democratic system. People who are upset by ads may become so fed up that they don’t want any part in voting.

According to research done by Beth L. Fossen of Indiana University, “negative political TV commercials make people less likely to vote for the attacked politician, but also make people less likely to vote in general.”

While not all political messages are negative, there’s a lot of room for improvement. I dream of a nation where election season is just a few weeks of candidates sharing the best of what they have to offer our country.