I am an Arizona voter. Like voters in other parts of the country, I am being subjected to political ads. Mostly I see them on the TV, but they are also on other outlets.
Based on these ads, I know what political campaigners believe will get someone elected. This is apparent to me because the ads have some very consistent themes.
These themes can be divided into two categories: mudslinging and image building.
In the first category, you want to paint your opponents as supporting Obama Care if you are a Republican. You should also associate your opponent with the president and it never hurts to bring up our spiraling national debt or the border crisis and how it affects Arizona. If you are a Democrat you will want to accuse your opponent of being a corrupt millionaire, who wants to cut taxes. If possible, associate the failures of Arizona government with tax cuts for the rich.
In the image building category, you should point out how you courageously stand for your principles. Show pictures of yourself with disabled veterans or foster kids. Show yourself empathizing with the victims of crime, or walking the border with law enforcement officers. Or if you can’t figure out which party you want to be a part of, just say they are both wrong.
The one thing that you apparently should never do is publicize your principles, or discuss the issues of the election, unless of course it is one of these lightening rod issues.
Unfortunately for me, I don’t want to cast my vote based on who throws the best mud or who polishes themselves up best. I want to know how the person is going to handle key challenges faced by Arizona.
What are they saying about Arizona, or America as a whole, if the voters they try to reach are unthinking ones who can’t see beyond these shallow facades?