Dear politicians:

I have watched with interest, mostly feigned, at this season’s political advertising, and I applaud you for being incredibly effective in your attack ads, which seem to be 99% of your advertising spend. You have done an amazing job of convincing me of this simple fact:

Not one of you corrupt morons should ever be allowed in office.

As a marketer, I get that you need to contrast yourself with the other folks running. In regular marketing, some contrast is mandatory. But by spending all your time telling me why I shouldn’t vote for the other guy or gal, you’ve convinced me you’re all a bunch of corrupt morons, regardless of party or affiliation, because I’m sure there’s a grain of truth in each of your attack ads somewhere in there.

Let me give you a comparative analogy. Pretend we’re all on a desert island somewhere, and most of us have survived a plane crash. As the survivors gather and figure out what’s going on, we start the inevitable discussion about who should lead us and what roles we should take to help the community survive until we’re rescued.

What you’re doing by throwing as many attack ads is effectively having two or more people on the desert island screaming at each other: DON’T FOLLOW HIM! HE’LL EAT ALL THE COCONUTS! That’s not leadership. If government were a matter of desert island life or death, the rest of us would leave you on the beach to starve and die.

Wait a minute. Government is a matter of life or death, for our society as a whole. Take a look around. 14.7 million people are unemployed. 26.4 million people are underemployed – that’s nearly 1 in 5 working Americans. The desert island is the entire country, and a good portion of us are hungry, if not starving while you spend all your time screaming why the other guy/gal/party is a bad choice, while stealing as many coconuts as you can.

Our only hope is that the citizens of America do as the desert island folks would do: leave you idiots to starve to death on your own and run this place ourselves. Call social media a fishbowl, call it frivolity or time wasting, call it narcissistic, but PodCamp Boston 5 raised $7,000 towards the Greater Boston Food Bank’s Kids Meals program. One silly little conference started by Chris Brogan and I a few years ago has done more real good for people with immediate need than all of your political campaign spending combined.

So politicians, congratulations. Your attack ads have achieved their goals: you’ve convinced me that the other guy or gal shouldn’t get elected. Unfortunately for you, they’ve convinced me the same about you.


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