Commentary: Our election ads are scaring the Martians

The Charlotte ObserverOctober 22, 2010 

Pity the poor Martians orbiting our planet who get all their civics lessons from campaign ads.

They must think we're one savage species.

Two weeks from Election Day, TV is crackling with political attacks. Their purpose is to introduce you to the candidates and inform you of the issues. They go like this:

A devious moron is running against me whose imbecility is thicker than livermush. A single vote cast that way will lead to chaos, pestilence and warts.

I always find such messages illuminating and would gladly watch two or three minutes, rather than getting strapped to a board above an anthill with my eyes glued open while a "Grey's Anatomy" whine-a-thon is screened. But that's just me.

Millions of dollars have been wagered by supporters of candidates in the 8th District, where incumbent Larry Kissell is running against former sportscaster Harold Johnson.

Issues are clear-cut for voters in this speedway battleground. Kissell is unfit for office because he occasionally votes with fellow Democrats, who are technically bad. Johnson is unfit for office because he wore goofy sunglasses one night on Channel 9 news.

Both are troubling accusations.

What might happen if we return Kissell to Washington and he falls under the spell of Nancy Pelosi (who - as I understand from campaign commercials - is constituted from toxic goo)?

But what if we elect Johnson, and he gets up before a visiting school group on the steps of the Capitol and goes all Stevie Wonder on them? Imagine what C-SPAN would do with a tape like that.

Fortunately, I don't live in that district. I sleep well at night.

In South Carolina, where football and politics are unregulated blood sports, we have the U.S. House race between Mick Mulvaney and John Spratt.

From what I gather, Spratt is the guy who got us into this mess and Mulvaney wants to slap my mother in jail for accepting Social Security. That one is going to be a tough choice.

In North Carolina's U.S. Senate race, there's Elaine Marshall, who ever-politely urges us to "throw 'em out." She's talking about her Republican opponent Richard Burr, who apparently associated with former President Bush.

Burr has dusted off those two codgers who had so much trouble figuring out how old Elizabeth Dole was in the last Senate election. They're like those old guys who sit up in the balcony wisecracking on "The Muppet Show."

Now they're back in their rockers thinking about how wrong they were two years ago. I don't buy it. They don't strike me as guys who can remember what they had for lunch, much less how they voted in 2008.

Anyway, I'm sick of it. And furthermore, you're scaring the Martians.

Most of these accusations against opponents are ridiculous. You know it, we know it.

Wouldn't it be better if, just for once, you pandered for our votes by telling us where you stand? Risky, I know, but it would be helpful.

My name is Mark Washburn and I approved this message.

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