Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Best and Worst Political Ads of 2010

As election day in the US draws near and the American people prepare to render a verdict on Obama's agenda to make the US into a European style social democracy, it is appropriate to reflect a bit on one of the concrete blessings of liberty: free speech. This particular freedom is under severe attack in Europe and Canada, where I live. With creeping socialism comes limits on the speech of citizens according to the class prejudices of the bureaucratic, ruling class.

But election ads reveal a vibrant, loud, decentralized, free democracy at its rollicking best - and worst. Human nature is not always pretty; where there is liberty there is bound to be overstatement, insults, pettiness, stupidity and impoliteness. So be it; let the people separate the wheat from the chaff for the only alternative is to let tyrants do it for them.

Toby Harnden, a Brit, has two posts listing the top 20 best and worst political ads of the 2010 campaign with part 1 here and part 2 here. I have selected my top five plus one extra with a twist.

First, the ad that sealed the election for Jack Conway's opponent, his now famous "Aqua Buddha Ad" attacking the faith of Rand Paul. Lesson: Don't mess with Aqua Buddha!

Second, the Taliban Dan ad that backfired on Alan Grayson, quite possibly the most obnoxious and offensive member of the House of Representatives. He literally cut and pasted from a speech by his opponent, Dan Webster, to make Webster appear to be saying the exact opposite of what he actually said. But there was no need for a politically appointed body to stop Grayson; the people of Florida's 8th congressional district appear poised to take care of Grayson themselves on Tuesday.

This ad from a Democratic candidate who knows he is losing is a fitting symbol of the whole Democratic campaign this year. He is like a wayward husband pleading with his wife to take him back and give him just one more chance. But I think she has had enough and he knows it.

Christine O'Donnell is probably going to lose in Deleware, but this ad is creative and focuses on the issues. If only she had the political smarts of some of the other Tea Party candidates, this would be a competitive race.

Dale Peterson lost his bid for Ag Commish in Alabama, but his ad is a classic. If I had a million dollars that I didn't know what to do with, I'd be tempted to run this ad in the 25 most liberal districts in America non-stop for the last few days of the campaign just for the spectacle of watching the New York Times and the rest of the liberal media sputter in rage and spit in condescension.

Every election we hear the same old refrain about how this is the nastiest election ever. Well, blows that idea right out of the water with this hilarious ad from the election of 1800. In their own words, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams go at it.

(HT: Joe Carter at First Thoughts)

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