Poison Politics: Are Negative Campaigns Destroying Democracy?

Poison Politics: Are Negative Campaigns Destroying Democracy?

Poison Politics: Are Negative Campaigns Destroying Democracy?

Poison Politics: Are Negative Campaigns Destroying Democracy?

Synopsis

Every campaign season, more trash talk and attack ads dominate the airwaves and more voters subsequently turn off to politics. Why do so many races degenerate into name-calling and negativism? What is the effect on our democracy - our ability to make the right political and policy choices? Poison Politics: Are Negative Campaigns Destroying Democracy? tackles these vital questions.

Excerpt

In the past few years, American politics has been poisoned by harsh personal attacks, primarily in short television spot advertisements. Political campaigns have become increasingly negative, and attack ads on television are more prevalent and shriller in tone. The arguments have often become ridiculous, irrelevant, and irresponsible. And democratic debate has been dragged down to the level of tabloid scandal.

The public has become justifiably disgusted with poison politics. Many voters are saying enough is enough, and pressure to tone down the negativism of political campaigns grows, even as television attack ads become even more venomous.

In a democracy, nothing is ever mere rhetoric. Any attempt to diagnose the ills of a democratic political system must focus first on what is said in the public arena. How we talk about our problems and choices determines how we are governed.

Unfortunately, like the dinner "conversations" of a married couple that has grown hostile and is on the verge of a divorce, our political talk has become increasingly bitter. But as a society, divorce is not an option. We have no choice but to figure out a way we can talk civilly and respectfully to one another. The alternative is nothing less than the demise of our democracy.

We need to do something about attack ads. But I disagree . . .

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