Well golly! I guess we are all just a bunch of dirty, toothless, uneducated, weak-minded idiots who can be manipulated or bought with great ease or on the cheap. Or at least that’s what our state and local politicians seem to think of us, judging by their ads and campaigns.
I am sure there are many more examples from our city and state over the years, but three politicos in particular have really caught my attention in the last week and year with their condescending ads and/or platforms.
The first one that comes to mind is the “Sixty-Seven” ad United States Senator Richard Shelby used for his 9,000th re-election campaign last year. You know the one. He rides all over Alabama on the “back roads” to all “67 counties” using “shortcuts.”
I can just imagine the slick copywriter who crafted this campaign sitting in some well-appointed office in Manhattan or D.C. It must have taken him hours to pry the “g” off his keyboard so he could make sure everyone knew ol’ Dick hates the letter “G” as much as he hates Obama. When he’s in Washington, he is always “listenin’,” “workin’,” and “helpin’” Alabamians until it’s time for him to start “hightailin’” it back to ‘Bama. Barf.
Can’t you just see that same copywriter coaching the voice-over guy?
“Now make sure you use your best hillbilly voice, think Jim Nabors meets Forrest Gump. You know, ‘tawlk l-eye-ke theis.’ You know those hicks don’t like hearing the sound of someone’s voice who may have graduated from college, or hell, even high school. It’s too fancy for them. They think you are talking down to them, so you have to try and talk like you are one of them. So just remember there is no such thing as -ing in Alabama, and really add some hatred to your voice when talking about Obama. Those morons really eat that up.”
And apparently we do, because we voted him back into office, although I think it had more to do with the amount of good old-fashioned bacon he is known for bringin’ back to ‘Bama than with him hatin’ Obama.
And I swear Luther Strange must have the same ad agency. His ads for the special election for Jeff Sessions’ former seat are just as bad.
This is how I imagine the meeting went down at the agency after Luther saw his ads for the first time. …
Luther Strange: Well I really like them, especially the car wash part, but you know I didn’t actually prosecute Mike Hubbard and you know that Bentley situation was kind of sketchy so we probably shouldn’t give me credit for that.
Ad Agency: Nonsense! These idiots aren’t going to remember all those “minor” details. Hell, the vast majority of them probably don’t even know who Mike Hubbard is.
LS: True. But I’m not familiar with the newspaper you are quoting. The Valley Times? Where is that?
AA: Oh, Luther, please. We totally made that up. Do I have to remind you, you are not running for the senate seat in Connecticut? You are from Alabama. Your constituents don’t read newspapers. Hell, half of ‘em probably can’t even read. Trust me, they won’t even realize it’s actually “fake news.” Bahahahahahaha.
LS: I guess you are right. But I noticed we are still mentioning Obama in the ads. I mean, he’s not even there anymore. Shouldn’t we be going after Pelosi or someone who currently holds office?
AA: Your naiveté is so cute, Luther. We are planning on using “fighting Obama” in ads until it stops working, which, for your voters, may be right about the time we elect our 53rd president. So just hush up now and grab that shotgun over there and look directly in the camera, smile and talk about how much you love the Second Amendment. You love it so much you would leave your wife and kids and marry it. You feel me?
LS: I can do that. I mean, if you think it will work.
AA: Trust me, Big Lu, go ahead and order new drapes for your office on Capitol Hill, if you haven’t already. You’re not going anywhere. Or as your people would say, “you ain’t goin’ nowhere, boy!”
And sadly, it’s not just our big-time politicians in Washington who put out insulting stuff like this. We have local ones too.
Last weekend, after months of speculation, former mayor Sam Jones made it official that he wants his old job back. He will face the man who defeated him, current mayor Sandy Stimpson.
Though Jones is expected to run a grassroots campaign since his budget for advertising is rather limited, there seems to be a common theme emerging from his surrogates and supporters.
“Let’s be ALL IN FOR SAM JONES!! Don’t be fooled by cookouts, blues shows and fish fry events. Focus on the candidate that genuinely cares about you and this city,” one supporter wrote. And numerous other supporters have also mentioned these events on Facebook and even at his campaign announcement, seeming to suggest that Jones would have won last time if Sandy Stimpson hadn’t “bought” their votes with fish and barbecue.
First off, how demeaning is that to Jones’ would-be supporters? I love fried fish and I love barbecue and would probably take plates of both if the Devil himself was serving it up, but no piece of food or fancy party or band is ever going to change my mind about anything, especially who I am voting for in an election.
Secondly, it’s also pretty demeaning to former mayor Jones, since they are essentially saying his supporters’ passion for him was so weak they could be swayed by a free plate of food. If I were him, I would be insulted by that. I guess they think this is a good strategy, but I don’t get it.
The political climate in general is pretty depressing and exhausting these days.
But from Mobile to Montgomery to Washington, D.C., it’s time for all of these politicos to give us just a little more credit and stop talking down to us. But then again, if we keep buying the messages they are selling, I guess we are getting exactly what we deserve.
But I, for one, think more of us. I guess we’ll see.