(Note: This essay originally ran in AltDaily)
OK. So perhaps saying that all political ads in this election cycle are lies is a bit of a generalization. I’ve even seen a couple I thought were pretty good. But I also strongly believe that the amount of deception and obfuscation that’s being employed in modern political advertising is so pervasive that the majority of what you read, see and hear is too far from the factual to be considered anything resembling the truth.
If you take a default position that they’re lies and someone objective will have to determine otherwise, more often than not, you’ll be right - depending on where you personally draw the line.
Political pros will say that a lie of omission or a lie of deception isn’t “technically” a lie, and that this distinction somehow makes their content accurate enough. But ask yourself this: Has any political ad you’ve seen anytime recently made you feel smarter or more enlightened? What exactly did you learn? Did you believe what you were told? Do you assume those that come from the side you support are truthful, but not those from the other side?
We already know they disrespect each other by the tone of the venal personal attacks that have become so commonplace. But when the campaigns or candidates lie, it indicates that they don’t respect us, either.