Saturday, October 23, 2010

The party's over for new age candidates

Not only are the gloves off, so are the labels.

As citizens prepare for voting in the mid-term elections, they are walking through a maze of candidates for every office from governor to congressman to judge to drain commissioner. In a simpler time, the names would be tied to a political party that would give some insight into political, fiscal or social philosophy.

In 2010, however, labels such as "Democrat," "Republican," or "Green" are missing from ads and signs more often than batteries for a toy battleship on Christmas. Unless you've installed them in advance, you're never going to find them.

Most political advertising in this election cycle serves up only a candidate's name. There seems to be no appetite to broadcast affiliation with a political party. I assume that the polling shows people are fed up with all parties...not that politicos pay attention to polls, of course...and candidates are taking the hint.

That leaves only the candidate, his or her positions on issues, and his or her character for consideration. That would be great, but the advertising out there doesn't dwell on the strengths of the candidate. It focuses on the negative aspects of the opponent. Don't get me started on the fact that many candidates routinely dodge debate opportunities and news interviews to better enrich their personal "brand" and cultivate a single message.

Just label it "Pablum."