Franklin Countys First News

Politics & Other Mistakes: Big bucks for small brains

Al Diamon

Here’s the dirty truth about political advertising:

It only works on stupid people.

Of course, there are lots of stupid people, and most of them are on social media, where it’s easy to target campaign messages to specific types of dopes. Whether it’s gun nuts or anti-gun kooks, pro-life fanatics or pro-choice extremists, tree huggers or forest despoilers, MAGA or antifa, a creative candidate can appeal to everyone with carefully crafted spots filled with exactly the lies each pod of imbeciles will embrace.

Technology has finally made it possible to be all things to all people. Or at least to all people with IQs that look like soccer scores.

I mention this not to disparage those with yogurt for brains. These misleading ads feed into their prejudices, and make them feel better. Also, all this deceptive advertising has little effect on the outcome of elections because of another dirty truth:

There are about as many stupid people on one side of every divisive issue as there are on the other. So, they cancel each other out.

No matter. Those attempting to influence the outcome of next year’s elections in Maine are prepared to dump unprecedented amounts of cash on the state in an effort to influence the stupid vote. According to a Bangor Daily News story, projected spending on this state’s U.S. Senate race alone could reach a staggering $55 million in 2020. That would more than double the record for a single race, the $23.2 million squandered on the 2018 2nd Congressional District contest.

Will even that expanded budget for wretched excess be enough to convince voters who are barely smart enough to put their shoes on the correct feet to cast their ballots for one senatorial hopeful or another?

Probably not.

Marketing expert Cary Weston told the Bangor paper that the prevalence of ads on TV and online is so overwhelming, it devolves into noise. “It’s loud. It’s obnoxious. It’s everywhere,” Weston said. “I really don’t think anyone’s going to notice because it’s so loud and obnoxious anyway.”

Of course, obnoxious noise sounds like music to the chronically dimwitted, so ad spending will be skyrocketing in almost every race. A report from Advertising Analytics and Cross Screen Media projects Maine will see $13 million worth of presidential spots. If that’s correct it will amount to twice the total spent in the state by every presidential candidate in 2012 and 2016 combined.

Then there’s that 2nd District seat, which both parties consider vulnerable. It doesn’t seem outlandish to expect Democrats to empty the bank vault to keep Jared Golden in office, and Republicans to do likewise in an attempt to oust him after a single term. Expect spending to run another $25 million or so.

When you add in the few million that will be wasted on the noncompetitive 1st District contest, total spending on all major races next year will approach $100 million – of which approximately $49.13 will be expended telling the truth.

I may be overestimating that last figure.

That’s good news for stupid people, who have long complained that nobody pays attention to their dumb-ass opinions. For once, they can feel superior while being bombarded with commercial messages with content so at odds with reality that it makes even the most clunk-headed voter feel clever by comparison.

They’ll be so elated, they won’t notice that their votes don’t really count.

Emails sent to should use small words.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

9 Responses »

  1. Al, Judging by your picture, you've been around the track once or twice and should know by now that the only way politicians win is to see who can BS better than the other person. And the sad thing is, that when our politicians both current and future start playing identity politics, whichever side plays them the most, loses. McCain did it the most in 2008, Obama while looking black actually didn't use the race card to win, he didn't play identity politics and won. Jump to 2016, Hillary played identity politics big time, even going so far as calling Trump supporters a "basket of deplorables" She never addressed America as a whole as Obama did when he won, Trump did, he addressed issues that are problems faced by all Americans and he won the 2016 election. As much as ANTIFA and other democrats love to do it, Americans hate being labeled and thrown into a specific group and talked at rather than being seen as individual citizens and talked to. You don't get elected by alienating huge chunks of the population, for example, Biden has said he wants a mandatory buy back program for "assault weapons", there are 20 million(some say maybe as high as 35 million) gun owners in the US who own guns he and the left have deemed "assault weapons", that is more than likely 20 million votes he won't get. Gov. Mills pretty much left the gun issue alone, Mark Eves was all about gun bans and he lost in the primaries, Adam Cote talked about gun bans and he lost in the primaries, In Maine you can't talk about guns, without knowing Maine's rich history of hunting and shooting sports and expect to win a general election.

  2. The only way politicians can win is by seeing who can BS better than the other person. Nice thought and quote Heartless. I’m sure you can relate.
    By the way, nice picture Al.

  3. Terry, Is my assessment of candidate rhetoric inaccurate? The entire democratic presidential candidate lineup consists of people just spreading BS and making promises that they can't even under the best of circumstances hope to fulfill. Trump talks a lot of trash, but his policies speak for themselves. And considering what the last administration dumped in his lap, Trump has done a phenomenal job of dealing with it, even with the house dems trying to have him drawn and quartered every other day. And Janet Mills has been in office for almost 8 months and what has she done? Nothing of any importance to address the problems in Maine, she expanded our government by 150 people, gave Maine benefits to 20,000 asylum seekers, most if not all of whom are not seeking asylum, but using an asylum claim to end run our country's immigration policies. But if you feel the need to fact check my claims, some of the places I get info from is, Ballotopia, websites run by various charities like Catholic Charities of Maine, other sites are, CNN(lets me know what kind of BS is floating around because they put it out) FOX news occasionally, never Wikipedia, I use the FBI, CDC, the DOJ, various watchdog sites, RT, the CBC, the BBC, never the Guardian(too much like CNN), The Daily Wire, and any place else I think might have an unbiased opinion or news on America.

  4. HB,are you old enough to remember the horrible mess that President Obama inherited from that little frat boy who came before him?

  5. I remember President Owebumer. He had a great smile, nice teeth and most of the time was good at reading his speeches and making many feel warm and fuzzy even though most paid little attention to what he said...... I didn't care for him and his policies but I did not dish out the hatred that is going on now..

  6. David Firsching, yes I am old enough to remember, Bush Junior was far from the ideal candidate, but given the other option was the logical choice. And Obama didn't exactly go out of his way to use the more than $1 trillion dollars he got to kickstart the economy to kickstart it, he gave it to a bunch of poorly run, union operated companies, the federal reserve had to take it upon themselves to get the money from congress to stop the crash that the banks had caused by giving home loans to people who shouldn't have gotten them and since the banks were hemorrhaging money, they invested in subprime markets and sold what amounted to worthless mortgages to each other. Points of economic growth 2008- 2018 in order, -0.1, -2.5, 2.6, 1.6, 2.2, 1.8, 2.5, 2.9, 1.6, 2.4, 2.9, but America saw it's best growth during WW2 when the men were fighting overseas and both men and women were working to build war machines, America has seen the least amount of growth AFTER inflation because most business owners don't lower their prices like they should, a gallon of milk costs about $3.50 when in actuality it should cost $2.50, the only thing that follows an ever changing market is fuel and gas, but in reality ALL things should follow the market. So prices of everyday items only appear to go up and never come down, milk at $3.50 today, it's at $4.00 tomorrow, the market drops, milk stays at $4.00, the market goes up, milk goes up, the market drops, milk stays the same price, the market goes up, the price of milk goes up.

  7. HB you need to get out of your ivory tower and visit with a dirt farmer. One of our own, who milks about 50/60 cows. Raises his own crops. Gets out of bed shortly after you go to bed, to face yet another day of losing* money milk sells today for about the same as it did when i left farming, 40 plus yrs ago. A-tractor then cost $5000. Today same Tractor, $50,000. . Would you work a farmers hours in order to lose money??? I doubt it.

  8. David Firsching, remember if you like your Dr you can keep your Dr, and then there's a border agent that was killed with a gun from oh that's right that was Obama too. Oh don't forget that video that caused the death of our heroes in Benghazi but it wasn't a video ( cover up)it was an organized attack.
    Let's not forget the money sent to Iran by guessed it Obama again. There are many more examples but I don't like typing much.

  9. Charlotte, That is what happens when things don't follow the market and wages continue to rise. In 1929 a quart of milk was 32 cents with a 56 cent hourly wage, in 1935 milk was 47 cents a quart with a 55 cent hourly wage, in 1938 milk was 50 cents a quart with a 35 cent hourly wage, in 1939 a year after FDR signed the minimum wage law milk was 57 cents a quart with a 37 cent hourly wage, in 1945 milk was 63 cents a quart with a $1.00 minimum wage. In 1930 the stock market had fully crashed milk was 26 cents a quart. The government gets involved and nothing good comes of it. Now in modern times there are two things that determine prices, profits and how much will people pay before they stop buying the product. And what kind of tractor are you talking about? A John Deere 4440 cost $44,000 in 1982, the modern version the 4066 is $63,000 in 2019. So you need to be specific, make and model. And the 4066 only cost $15,000 to build. Tractors tend to be sold on an as needed basis because not all farmers need the same tractor.