Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Taking the Soapbox on Political Advertising

I didn't vote today.
On one level, I feel like a bad American because of it. I believe in voting, and I also believe in the saying that you shouldn't complain if you're not going to exercise your right to have a say in the selection process.
On the other hand, we just moved into a new county which I didn't really realize until yesterday evening, since a good chunk of the city we live in is technically still part of the county we used to live in. Also, my daughter stayed up until 3am after an early morning the day before and no nap for me, so I'm willing to cut myself some slack. But I'm wondering what the outcomes will be.
I'm especially wondering whether Question A will get passed, to install slots at the mall. This particular question has been on my mind a lot, helped along by the smattering of posters both for and against, as seen on every major thoroughfare in the area. The thing that really peaked my interest is how roundabout a way the "for" party took to try and get you to vote yes. Instead of saying exactly what it was, they said something like "Better Schools: Vote Yes on Question A", or "Lower Taxes: Vote Yes." I've also seen "Funding for Firehouses", "More Jobs", etc. Compared to this, the antis seem pretty straightforward: "Against Slots at the Mall: Against Question A". I guess this irks me because I really hate the way the "fors" market their concept. Instead of coming out and saying what it is or how it works exactly, they try to sell you on it by telling you only the good thing that will supposedly happen because of it, leaving you feeling like if you don't vote for it, you are actually hindering the progress of schools and the lowering of taxes, and depriving the poor firemen. This strikes me much the same as the people who sideline you in the mall working for charities, and immediately guilt you by asking something like "Are you against cancer?" Well, who isn't against cancer exactly? But I always have the urge to answer "No, actually, I'm pro-cancer. Cancer all the way! Metastasize me!" I hate being made to feel like I should give my support or vote or money to something based purely on a statement as general as "Well, it'll help with this societal issue!" I want to know how exactly. I want things explained! And in the case of political issues, I especially want to know what ELSE they're adding on to that Question A, particularly in the area of what the funds are being used for.
I may as well clarify, I am against slots in any case. Regardless of the good they do, they're still an addictive and destructive pastime for many individuals. But I'm particularly against slots at the mall, for one very apparent reason, which you can see in just visiting the mall on any Saturday afternoon: the mall is where kids hang out. If you put in slot, you are automatically exposing every 10-year old on up to the "joys" of gambling, and all the ill behaviors that go with it. Kids today are doing well if they ever learn to be responsible with their money, and exposing them to slots in a public arena where they will-- let's face it, because corporations are unscrupulous-- be conditioned by targeted marketing until the day they hit legal age to throw their money away in that arena, is only going to worsen their financial maturity.
So, what do you think? Should slots be allowed at the mall? Why or why not? And are there any other issues you did or did not vote on today that got you thinking? Any thoughts on political advertising tactics? Let me hear from you in the comments.

1 comment:

  1. Hi, "Captain!" Just dropped over from Company Girls Coffee. I feel just about the same way you do about gambling and making those machines available in malls, though we don't have such a question [yet] in Texas.