There has been one particularly enlightening thing I have learned from the constant television advertisements leading into next week's primary election:
Apparently, Barack Obama is running for something in my state.
He surely must be, because virtually every TV ad I've seen depicts the candidate as being eager to fight all the evils that Obama has heaped upon us, from the Affordable Care Act to gun control to expansion in the Southeastern Conference.
Remember the saying about the "perfect country song"? It had to contain the words Mama, pick-ups, trains, prison, getting drunk. How about a perfect Republican ad in the South? It must contain the words Obama, guns, Obama, Bible, Obama, Jeeeeesus, Obama, prayer, Obama, cut taxes, Obama, illegals, Obama. Half the time, you don't even know what office the candidate is seeking. Whatever it is, inevitably his or her impact in “the war against Obama” would be like adding one more needle to the haystack - can't find it.
You have to give the campaign experts credit, though. They know the southern marketplace. They know they are reaching an audience – elephant in the room here – where some people fear or resent a powerful black man. They know fact-checking in TV ads is not a requirement; it's only an option.
I know you have seen the commercials. They are one-size-fits-all:
It opens with the candidate wearing his shirt sleeves rolled up, earnestly nodding among a group of citizens prominently including blacks, Asians, and women. Then there is a quick scene where he earnestly smiles as he shakes hands with a farmer (white); and another scene where he earnestly listens to a woman (white) outside a grocery store or sitting on a park bench.
The narrator comes on, voice sounding like a smooth operator:
"Dave Goodhair is a great American and a great (person from any southern state). He'll stand up against Obamacare. He'll fight to save (our state) from the left-wing Obama-Pelosi-Clinton conspiracy that threatens our very way of life. Dave Goodhair will keep Obama from breaking into your homes and stealing your guns. He will stop Obama from banning Waffle Houses from serving grits. Dave Goodhair will fight Obama to assure (our state) doesn't fall victim to Pelosi-led Washington insiders who want to raise taxes on live bait and baseball caps."
There are quick cuts to an American flag. Then, a three-second screen shot of a newspaper page where the words "Obama" and "evil" are highlighted, even if they come from separate stories.
Then there is the assurance that "Dave Goodhair will create jobs," not elaborating that those jobs will be for employment on his staff for the daughter of his biggest contributor and his ex-con brother.
Then cut back to the candidate with his family, who apparently got a group discount on dimples:
"Dave Goodhair. American. Dave Goodhair, Christian. Dave Goodhair, lieutenant, high school ROTC. Dave Goodhair, family man."
Finally, the graphics that inform us of the office being sought:
"Elect Dave Goodhair. Comptroller, State Department Of Orange Highway Cones. Paid for by a political pact run by Dave Goodhair's rich father-in-law."
Even one of my great right-wing friends told me the other day: "If you're running for Lt. Governor or the Public Service Commission (PSC), I really don't care that you plan to 'stand up to Obama.' I don't care that you know how to hold or shoot a gun. Tell me what you are going to do to benefit the people of our state. Otherwise, your mail flier is going straight into the recycling bin."
If there is one thing more annoying than the TV ads, it's the robo-calls and polls. I got this one the other day: "If you were voting for the state school board, for which candidate would you vote?"
I don't know – maybe the one in favor of less testing and more just plain teaching in our schools?
That reminded me of the old joke. A man visiting Harvard asks a student, "Where's the library at?" The student stiffly replied, "At Harvard, we don't end a sentence in a preposition." To which the visitor said, "OK, where's the library at, jerk?"
Now, excuse me. Another Dave Goodhair election ad is on TV. Where's my remote control at?
Edited from an article by Mark McCarter on AL.com