It was 1956 and I was in a new neighborhood and school. I had made a new friend and we started spending a lot of time together. I was six and knew nothing about presidents or politics, but the presidential campaign was in full swing. Eisenhower was running against Stevenson.
One day my friend was teaching me a song she had learned at home. It was to the tune “Whistle While You Work” from Disney’s Snow White. I loved that movie and that song.
Well, the new words were: “Whistle while you work, whistle while you work. Eisenhower’s got the power, Stevenson’s a jerk!” This really meant nothing to me so we skipped along, singing that song, all through the neighborhood. As far as politics was concerned I was young, ignorant and apparently not very nice.
So now we are 83 days and counting until election day. I have the dubious distinction of living in a “battleground state”, a state that could help swing the election. The reward for living in such a state is that we get non- stop, commercial after commercial, 24/7 political ads. I am sure that other states are just as bad.
Much of it is nothing more than “sound bite politics”, super pac “gotcha” moments of twisted words, half-truths or worse yet outright lies. They hope that we are as susceptible as I was when I was six. We’ll hear something that will stick in our heads and we’ll go singing it through the neighborhood, even though it doesn’t make us look very smart or very nice.
A TV ad consultant is suggesting to local candidates that they get their TV commercials on now because by the time we get to October there will not be any TV advertising time left to buy and people in the country will have shut down to the political ads. But I have news for them, it is too late. I, for one, have already shut down. Those ads come on the TV and I am ready.