With no TV reception, I've been spared the recent barrage of campaign ads. But I do have Internet access, and I'm flooded with suggestions to watch this or that on YouTube, and with e-mails that begin, "You've just got to see this."
Sorry. Campaign ads are not designed to inform. They're designed to persuade. If they provide any facts at all, the facts are one-sided and chosen for their emotional impact. They're the result of years of research by the advertising industry and public relation people whose job it is to get others to buy ...
I know from experience that all I have to do to get a response from readers is to mention the word, "abortion." My last column, headlined, "Woman chosen for wrong reason," was no exception.
What I said in the column was this: "Palin was chosen ... because she is anti-abortion, anti-gay marriage, and anti-evolution." But as far as the McCain campaign goes, she was chosen for the right reasons. She has energized Christian fundamentalists and through them, the rest of the party.
Sometimes I pick up the newspaper, turn to the opinion page, and read the last line of a column or letter to the editor first, just to figure out where the writer wants to take me. The last sentence of a recent column in the Atlanta papers certainly got my attention.
Sen. Johnny Isakson's recent call for a compromise on energy policy is getting a lot of coverage. The Georgia senator wants Republicans to embrace conservation initiatives and alternatives such as solar and wind in turn for Democratic acceptance of nuclear power and a more aggressive exploitation of our own oil resources (Alaska and off the Atlantic Coast).