Episode 12: Pants on Fire – Negative Political Ads

Main idea: Negative Political Ads and how we talk to our children

  • Who we are:
    • I’m Kasie, I’m in Columbia- I’m homeschooling my daughter (age 12).
    • I’m Jessica. I live in the Upstate of South Carolina, and I have two boys, 6th and 3rd grade. Both of my kids are completely obsessed with Hamilton (the musical) and all the characters. 
    • I’m Melissa in the lowcountry, 3 kids in elementary school
  • The purpose and scope of the episode- 
    • How we talk to our kids about the negative ads airing everywhere ahead of the election
  • Today’s topic: 
    • Jaime Harrison and Lindsey Graham are locked in a heated (and expensive!) battle for the Senate seat in South Carolina.
    • When is it okay to lie about others? (hint: never)
    • Why politicians do it and what it says about the political process
    • Why do negative ads work?
      • Would it change your mind?
        • “No, because I think for myself,” — Jessica in a mic-drop moment (lol)
        • People are so polarized — they believe what they already agree with
        • I would prefer to look at what people have actually done in their careers, their lives, and their communities
          • Tell our kids: You can be told about others, but the records of the person’s service should inform your decision.
            • How can the relationship benefit you? Will it be a partnership?
        • Consider the source? Do they have something to gain by making me hate this person? Yeah, because you want my vote.
    • The ads are being approved by the candidate — supposedly; some of them are being run by other groups “Senate Leadership” etc. PACs, outside the candidate’s campaign.
      • The Lincoln Project ads (example here)
      • The media is going to sell the commercial airtime, they don’t care what the message is. They don’t have any skin in our game, they don’t know us.
    • Negative ads are hyperbole, they’re exaggeration, they’re meant to make us feel ugly things about other human beings. How can they possibly be true?
      • The Lincoln Project is mean. 
    • Do the ends justify the means?
      • Melissa says no. If you can’t make the case for yourself without dragging others through the mud, you have a weak case. And if you win but you don’t have integrity, how can you be trusted to represent us?
      • Jessica says, “I don’t behave that way and I don’t want anyone who represents me to behave that way.”
        • You can’t control how people treat you but you can control how you react to us. Most times, how you react speaks much more accurately to your character than what they say about you does.
        • I’d have more respect for a candidate who rises above the negativity and says, let’s talk about the issues and our action plan. Like Jo. 
        • How would that make you feel if someone was talking about you that way? Especially if those things aren’t true?
      • Kasie says, I appreciated the Jaime Harrison ads that speak candidly about the work he did as a lobbyist.
        • He addresses the charges which looks like transparency, but he’s never had to justify a voting record.
        • There is seniority in the Senate and Graham has that; we know it’s why he’s being targeted.
        • But kids don’t get that. They only get “They’re being mean,” and we, as adults need to clarify that it’s not okay. The ends don’t justify the means.
          • It’s not okay to lie, to cheat, to do whatever you have to do to get an A (plagiarizing, etc) — dishonesty is never okay.
          • Here’s the Trump “911 Call” ad
  • Coming up on the next episode: 
    • Immigrants: We Get the Job Done — how did immigration become a political football? How do we talk to our kids about other cultures and their influence, impact, and experience in the United States.
  • Follow us on all the socials
  • Thanks and goodbye

Published by kasiewhitener

Author of After December, host of Write On SC, YouTube channels for both and blogging like it's my job at http://kasiewhitener.com

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