Moving on with cars, drugs and toilet paper

The election is over and the political ads will cease, at least for a little while. Whew! Now we can move on to ads with higher value.

Venturing into the holiday season, we won’t skip a beat to move from flags, stars and stripes to bows, Santa and snowflakes. These ads are innocuous. In fact, they just ask me to picture myself driving through a snow covered mountain road flanked in white dusted pines at the wheel of their new Escalade. They’re so anxious to see me in their car, they play their ad frequently. I agree. I would look good in it, so I don’t take offense.

Oh, and if I my cholesterol rises, no worries. I just need to ask my doctor if one of the statin drugs advertised is right for me. I don’t need to concern myself with the probable side effects that they list in their auditory fine print. They’ll likely not impact me. They happen to other people. But, I cannot forget the import of the brand of toilet paper I choose. Yes, I’m “talking about what happens in the bathroom.” After all, “everyone goes” – remind me again why I discouraged my children from potty humor?

Rarely do I consider these TV ads aggressive or arrogant. They’re just part of doing business. I want my favorite programs to remain on the air, and that requires money. I understand they need me and others to buy-into their brands so that when it’s time to make our choice, we’ll purchase their products. Program sponsors often play their ads back to back, yet they evoke little passion. In fact, many times I find them entertaining and adopt their slogans into my daily jargon. Whatever happened to, “You deserve a break today?” I could use one.

Why should political ads be considered anything but a necessary evil like those of other branded goods? Some product claims are true and some have been proven to be hype. We don’t take offense with them, yet many do when it comes to political ads. Some link politics and religion together as taboo topics for discussion. Why is that? Likely there are personal preferences on both sides, and we don’t like these challenged. Yet truth will stand and prove itself, regardless of who wins an election. So what’s the deal?

I like these ads because I understand the stakes are higher than the toilet paper I select. They make a difference beyond me and have potential to impact generations to come. And if I think through their message and question what they say, it helps me to confirm what I believe or reveal holes in my perspective. I lean toward naivety, but understand its dangers, so these ads are good for me.

Will I enjoy the respite from the political rhetoric? Sure, but in the meantime, I will thank God we still have the freedom to promote our views whether political, religious or other personal preferences. In some countries, they don’t have this privilege.

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