A recent poll of three thousand Americans revealed that a majority of likely voters believe that this year’s political campaigns have been too civil to date, and would like to see the volume of spite and malice turned up a few notches.
“This year’s mudslinging has gotten off to a decent start,” said pollster Jim Hornswall, citing examples of allegedly-unofficial smears such as the Barrack Hussein Obama: Muslim Terrorist Lover video on YouTube and the John McCain is a Senile Old Coot blog. “But voters are craving more,” he said.
Americans are already tired of hearing about the so-called “issues” such as Obama’s plan to bring troops home from Iraq or McCain’s position on climate change. What voters really crave are detailed stories about topics such as Obama’s gruesome secret lab where he experiments with cross-breeding kittens and bunny rabbits. They want a video of McCain’s foul-mouthed five-hour verbal assault on a classroom full of five-year-olds.
“It doesn’t really matter whether stories are true or not,” said Hornswall, “voters just want salacious tales that will stir their emotions.”
Today’s technology allows smear tactics to achieve previously unimagined depths of depravity. In nineteenth and twentieth century campaigns, the best a candidate could hope for would be for a rumor to catch on that their opponent was involved in some sensational scandal. Modern campaigns have far better technology and resources available, allowing them to clandestinely employ thousands of bored computer geeks to produce convincing fake photographs and even videos of their opponents engaging in activities that would make Hugh Hefner blush.
Hornswall hopes that the results of the poll will help Obama and McCain supporters alike to make some much-needed improvements to keep the remaining five months of the campaign interesting.
There are plenty of opportunities for local candidates to revamp their campaigns and make use of this new information as well. For example, did you know that according to a recently-released internet video, Christine Gregoire plans to open a 300-acre dump in Sammamish exclusively for road kill and pet remains? Or maybe you heard about Dino Rossi’s statement that “King County could sink into the sound for all I care”?
These are the kinds of slanders that today’s plugged-in voting public demands. Hopefully the candidates are listening.