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dfaNow that the primary elections are over, we have two more months to be inundated with political ads.

It won’t be just the signs at every intersection.  And really, does a “Vote for Joe” sign really sway voters?

And it won’t be just the robocalls.  I wonder, does anybody actually listen to them once they know they are “talking” with a recording?

Nor will it be just the mailers.  I’m sure I’ve already got the recycle bin vs. garbage thing figured out from the primaries.

The radio and TV ads will also overwhelm us.  I wish they were all about “My position on ‘x’ issue is ‘y.’” But we’ll see plenty of “He’s a scumbag so don’t vote for him” ads.  Too bad.  Even more too bad is that all of the media outlets will accept and air the spots, no matter what their content.  Times are tough for the broadcast industry and stations need all the revenue they can get – but wouldn’t it be nice for one outlet, just one, to draw the line and say “we’re not airing negative ads?”

That would bring on a good First Amendment fight.  But what candidate could personally justify the bullying, personal attacks against his or her opponent?  And why don’t any candidates come out and publicly state:  “I do not agree with calling my opponent a scumbag and will not stand for it!  I will not allow my opponent to be bullied!?”

How about this for a two-part debate question:  “Do you agree with the ads that call your opponent a scumbag?”  “If not – what, if anything have you done, or will you do to stop them?”

Something like that would tell us all a lot about their character.  And maybe it would set an example for everyone that bullying is unacceptable behavior, anywhere.

Scott Hanson
Scott Hanson
President Scott is president of HMA Public Relations and a founding member of the Public Relations Global Network. He’s a Phoenix native, husband, father of two and a fan of all sports and a participant in some. Check out Scott's full bio

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