I knew they were going to appear sooner or later. I was hoping for later.
I was wrong.
It’s more than three months until the election. But I saw my first political TV commercial the other night.
It was a commercial for the governor’s race. It was a Republican commercial, which figures, since Republicans have the most money.
By clumsy and jarring editing, the commercial said the current governor, a Democrat, is very bad and has done nothing except bad things while in office. Oh yes, and that he is bad.
Does anyone pay attention to political ads? I guess so, otherwise candidates would not spend their money on them.
Mostly, I think, the impact of the commercials is cumulative.
The more they are shown, the more impact — perhaps subliminally — they have. We may not fully believe what the commercial contends. But as every propagandist knows, repeat something often enough and many people will be swayed.
That’s why the candidate with the most ads very often wins.
So, be wary when you watch those commercials in the coming months.
Here are some tips for the enlightened watcher:
1. Take with a grain of salt any candidate’s contention that his opponent’s real last name is Putin.
2. Don’t be too impressed by a candidate’s hair. Just because a candidate has hair like John Kennedy doesn’t mean he is Kennedy. This also is unfair to female candidates.
3. Beware of a candidate who doesn’t eat the way you do. For example, if you see a commercial in which a candidate is at an Italian-American event and he eats pizza with a knife and fork — watch out. He is not like us.
4. Consider surroundings. If a candidate is addressing senior citizens, don’t be surprised if he advocates outlawing the aging processing.
5. Always remember that commercials exist to persuade, not inform.
Let the games begin.