Or there’s incumbent Bill Nelson, who, in the eyes of the TV-land electorate, has been reduced to a faux cattle rancher using a few grazing cows on his family’s land to exploit an agricultural loophole. (You know how those Republicans hate tax breaks.)
Neither ad campaign imparts information citizens might find useful. But that’s hardly the goal. SuperPacs, let loose by the Supreme Court’s infamous Citizens United decision, are going berserk in this record $3 billion year for federal campaigns. Almost all of it is negative. Almost all of it is misleading. “Free political speech” amounts to a depressing slop of twisted facts, misleading allusions, out-of-context quotes and outright lies. The pants of this great nation have become a mendacious inferno.
Not that local elections have shown any allegiance to civil discourse. An attack ad financed by the Miami-Dade Police Benevolent Association included a photograph of state Rep. Carlos Lopez-Cantera, a candidate at the time for Miami-Dade property appraiser, with his arm extended in a “thumbs down” gesture. Except the photo in the ad had been cropped at the wrist to make it appear as if his gesture was, instead, a Hitler salute.
Then there was the SuperPac attack back in the Republican primary against State Rep. Jeff Brandes for the sin of supporting legislation that would allow testing of driverless, robotic automobiles in Florida. The ad shows a driverless Toyota Prius going past a terrified elderly woman, with some granny’s voice wondering why Brandes would push such a dangerous concept onto the defenseless elders of Florida.
Next, we’ll have ads warning that robots are running away with grandma’s Medicare. Or that certain nefarious candidates are conspiring to allow imported robots the right to vote. Or: “All you really need to know about my opponent” was that he was busted after brawling with drunken robots in a Hooters. That was back in the all-important year of 2003.