Who do you hate more? Changes in American Perceptions of Presidential Electability

When you go to the polls this November, what questions will you answer by placing your vote? What questions have you been asking yourself up to that day? A recent series of attack and defense ads drove home to me the point that we no longer care as a society about policy, or values, or credentials — the only thing that matters by voting day is that you as a voter have made a decision about who you hate more.… [Read more]

Attack Ad Blues

“Now let me tell you a story…’bout the Attack Ad Blues…” (with apologies to George Thorogood and his Delaware Destroyers)

Once upon a time, when American politicians first understood the Marshall McLuhan mantra that the ‘medium is the message’ (another Canadian genius, we have spawned several), political campaign television advertising had a vestigial legitimacy. Slagging the opposition with assaults that maintained only a tenuous connection to truth has been campaign sport since the first Athenian demos, but throughout history such attacks usually made at least passing reference to why our guy was right for the job!… [Read more]