Joco Diversions

The midterm elections are over, and so are the horrible ads

Across the country, there’s been an explosion of nasty campaign ads.
Across the country, there’s been an explosion of nasty campaign ads. NYT

I think the one thing we can all agree on is an overwhelming sense of relief that the midterm elections are over. It’s been a week since I’ve had to experience the auditory and visual assault of campaign ads, and I feel like I’ve gone through a cleanse. I really don’t understand election ads because it doesn’t matter what side of the fence you’re on — they’re all horrible.

Are Russian hackers also multi-tasking as election ad consultants? That’s about the only excuse I can come up with because the ads I experienced the past several months were so fib-strewn and offensive that I have to believe an outside force is messing with our election process.

Also, are there only two voice-over people in the entire United States? I ask this because I was traveling a lot this fall and no matter what part of the country I was in, it was always the same two voices narrating any political ad. I felt like I was being stalked.

This election was a first for me because both of my children were old enough to vote. I warned them not to be influenced by any election ads. My son, who at 22, is now a seasoned voter, gave me a look that reeked of condescension. “You do realize that no one my age watches TV.”

I gave him my “whatever” face and moved on to providing my daughter with election guidance. Due to her going to college in California I had to FaceTime her. (Ugh on that because there’s something about FaceTime that makes my DMV photo look like a glamor shot. It’s vain, but do I want to resemble an obese troll that appears to have just lost a wrestling match with Shrek? No.)

My first order of business was making sure she was going to mail in her ballot. That elicited a sigh. I ignored that and began to go over whom she should be voting for. That got me some attitude which made me sigh again.

I respect that the voting age is 18, but I also believe there should , if not a caveat, than a suggestion that as long as you’re on your mother’s cell phone plan and have a credit card in your wallet that your parents are paying for then you might have to endure a small lecture on the political process.

I feel terrible admitting this but I’m very conflicted about lowering the legal voting age to 16 as some states are considering. Proponents for it cite studies of the teen brain that prove 16-year-old children have the “cognitive skills necessary to make informed decisions.” I agree with that. After all, they are driving, but I’ve spent a lot of time around 16-year olds and a lot them still haven’t mastered the rudimentary skill of putting dirty clothes in an actual hamper. So, that scares me.

When I shared this concern with my 18-year-old, she was furious and took glee in pointing out that a “ton of adults are idiots” and devoid of hamper skills so how could 16-year olds make it any worse. I had to concede that she made a very good point.

But the thought of election ads focused on this demographic makes me shudder. My daughter said not to worry because they would all be Snapchat stories and those disappear. On the good news front at least, it would prompt a search for new voice over talent that didn’t sound, in my daughter’s words, “like an angry grandpa.”

Reach Sherry Kuehl at snarkyinthesuburbs@ gmail.com, on Facebook at Snarky in the Suburbs, on Twitter at @snarkynsuburbs and snarkyinthesuburbs.com.

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