Bang Bang, He shot me down
Bang Bang, I hit the ground...

If you're thinking there's no way a true campaign ad could feature pictures of Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, and Obama side by side, think again. The negative ad war has officially started with McCain drawing first blood and initiating the descent of the presidential campaign down a slippery slope. Negative ads have always been a controversy in the political world, but this year's ads just keep turning heads. Did someone put something in the water over at the ad agencies?

Lately, the ad playing field has turned more into a game of chess - kiddy chess where all the characters are from Disney. Candidates use these ads to take stabs at each other back and forth in the hopes that their constituents will follow along in the heated rivalry. Sorry to disappoint McCain, but it's not working, especially when the accusations are completely ludicrous. You'd be surprised to learn that if you googled Obama's issue platform, electricity tax increases - the basis of McCain's attack in the ad - would be no where in sight. In fact, tax increases are barely even mentioned. So where does McCain's team come off publicizing this falsehood? Well, hilariously enough, McCain's people twisted what Obama said in an interview with the San Antonio Express News. This interview from six months ago, which primarily revolved around education, brought up the following question:

Q. Have you considered other funding sources, say taxing emerging energy forms, for example, say a penny per kilowatt hour on wind energy?

A: Well, that's clean energy, and we want to drive down the cost of that, not raise it. We need to give them subsidies so they can start developing that. What we ought to tax is dirty energy, like coal and, to a lesser extent, natural gas. (Washington Post)

So for something Obama clearly uses the word "ought" for and that does not appear anywhere in his political platform, it is now appearing in national TV ads across America. I even believed Obama was planning to increase taxes until I decided to dig deeper, under all the construed truths and misconceptions. I guess what I'm trying to get at is that negative ads distract from the campaigning and the issues at hand. For days, I've been listening to radio talk show hosts and news websites discussing this specific "celebrity ad" because of its audaciousness in comparing Obama to silly superstars. Maybe that was the point: to keep this ad, and thus McCain's name, in the news, in constant discussion. To that effect, bravo he succeeded. Does it help his trailing in the polls? Fortunately not. Does it show us what his plans are for America? Definitely not. With such an unexpected and bold move as this, it makes me wonder, who is really acting like the celebrity? Obama, who has advocated for a presidential campaign free of negative ads, or rather McCain, who has caused uproar in the political community with his obnoxious ad and coincidentally acted in the hit tv show 24. At least Obama has taken the high road and been the better man amidst all this.

Personally, I'm against the whole idea of bashing an opponent. I realize politics is a dirty game, but there's always time for change. These sort of ads should be adjusted in my opinion to be amicably competitive, a "he might not be doing this exactly right" type of criticism. Ads should resemble a debate, something serious and informative - not parodied over and over like the infamous Hillary Clinton ad. Point out what's wrong in a friendly manner, but don't stop there. Rather, show what you are doing to be different. Talk about your policies and how you will make a difference. That way you get the best of both worlds. We all learn from the ads while you get to unleash your testosterone and criticize the other party. Win-win for all.