Your Own Political Ads

Be your own political party? From (

.”… will allow any individual to sign up, throw his or her approval on a television ad for a political candidate or cause, and show it to a targeted audience. [] launched a political program aimed at helping less well-funded campaigns get on TV, radio and the Web.”

Want unlimited immigration? Your political party isn’t going to make commercials favoring this view. (And yes, I’m including the Libertarian Party here. And good luck finding a nonpartisan group which supports it. Want to bring back Prohibition, but don’t share the Prohibition Party’s rightwing views on other issues?

There are other ways to get your individual views on TV, of course. Public access television; there used to be, and maybe still is, a neo-Nazi atheist using it in Minneapolis. There’s YouTube and its competitors; here’s a list of the 31 leading YouTube alternatives:… But those aren’t mainstream television; I suspect a majority of American tv viewers don’t know they exist, never mind being likely to watch them.

Would your ad be less effective than those designed by fulltime pros? Look: In 1996, when Rudy Boschwitz tried to win his Minnesota Senate seat back from Paul Wellstone, he hired a political consultant who’d been successful in New York State. The commercial I saw was Boschwitz explaining again and again that Wellstone was a (spit) Liberal.

The percentage of Minnesota voters who didn’t know Wellstone was a liberal? Slightly higher than the percentage of Georgia voters who think their state fought against the Confederacy. You’d have to work really hard to come up with commercials less effective than this high-powered professional effort.

Am I going to produce my own political commercial? Not anytime soon; for one thing, I’m on a neutered — err, fixed — income. But five or ten years from now, I might.


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