THOUGHTS

On Campaigns, Politicians, and the sad state of Political Advertising

If it is true that show business has indeed invaded the political arena, does it follow that the opposite, politics finding it’s way into show business, also true?

From what I am seeing, yes.

We are used to seeing adoring fans lining up, screaming, waving, enduring the heat and the blazing tropical weather of our country to catch a glimpse of their showbiz idols, hold their hands, have their photo taken with them, or even get to kiss them on the cheek. Fans adorn their idol with garlands of fresh, fragrant sampaguita buds, hand them flowers or food or water, wipe their brows, basically show their admiration and adoration by doing these little things for them.

They do this for them because they see their movies, watch their TV shows and follow their lives on the paper, gossip columns, talk shows and of course, the rumor mill (I was gonna say ‘scuttlebutt’ but NCIS fans would definitely find out that I’m an addict as well).

Anyway.

Now, we see nearly the same thing for aspiring politicians as they blaze the campaign trail – people treating them as heroes, idols, and role models. People showering them with their care and affection, most especially women towards the young, virile and potent rising politicians. They are almost mobbed at their campaign sorties. Of course, these aspiring public servants put on their best smiles and accomodate what the people want from them. This is the only time for them to come out and meet the public – campaign time, a time to woo votes and pin their hopes on a public that can be easily won over just by looking nice and giving away stickers, pins, fans, and other campaign paraphernalia that will lead them to say ‘Ah I like this candidate because he shook my hand, blah blah blah…’

And the TV ads. Lord, grant me the patience.

Campaigning on TV has become a circus. Tag lines. Jingles. Celebrity endorsements.

Whatever happened to debates, presentations of platforms and plans, strategies and a more cerebral approach rather than a mindless overplay of campaign jingles that boast of no concrete plan on how to save our battered nation from corruption and bring forth the good kind of change?

“Pag bad ka, lagot ka?”

“Itanim ang sa Senado”

Do we dare pin our hopes and dreams and those of the future generation on such comical tag lines? On catchy songs that painstakingly fits their last names into the lines just to bank on a song’s popularity? On looking good and winning the public over with smiles and free kisses on the cheek?

I do hope the masses have learned from the mistakes of history.

We can’t afford any more.

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