ELAINE HARRIS SPEARMAN: Campaign season means annoying political ads

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“To everything there is a season, and a time and purpose under the heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1.

“It’s your season,” is a popular gospel song sung by Norman Hutchinson. The word season has always had a prominent place in the lives of people. Simply put, it is a particular period of time during a year. It can be football season, Christmas season or flu season, among many seasons.

Campaign season is not one of the better-known or liked. But here we are in the campaign ad season. Most of us dread this period of time in our lives. We are inundated with ads depicting those who wish to hold elective office saying all sorts of things, and displaying themselves in ways that they believe appeals to the people who they want to vote for them.

Elaine Harris Spearman
Elaine Harris Spearman

I say that because the content of some of these campaign ads are so obviously not designed to appeal to a cross-section of people. It takes the black and white keys to play a piano.

Let’s face it. A campaign ad that speaks of “protecting our Constitution from woke liberals” is actually saying nothing. The phrase "woke liberals" has become a buzzword, or an out-of-the-closet “dog whistle.”

The now use of the word “woke” is whatever the user believes it to be. It is undefined anywhere in the apparent manner that it is being used. The definition that I find is “past tense of woke.” As in, “I woke up in a daze.”

There are far too many people using public service positions and elective offices as employment of last resort or as an opportunity to impose personal views and feelings upon the masses. The good of all should be the reason for attempting to engage in public service. All of the public will have what these candidates bring as a benefit or a burden. It will not be limited to those whom these ads are attempting to appeal to.

This is true from the federal level all the way down to the local level.

An ad for candidate for chief justice has a voice over that says Sarah Stewart is a candidate who “Republicans can depend upon to protect our rights.” What about everybody else? What about following the law, fairness, judicial integrity?

The ad further says she “will protect our Constitution from woke liberals.” What do you think that means? How about upholding the Constitution and its amendments? Don’t bring the tired steel magnolia argument. It doesn’t work with fairness, justice, and equal treatment under the law. The delivery of poor treatment at the hands of a woman does not soften the blow. Many times, it cuts deeper.

This state had endured Judge Roy Moore. Alabamians deserve better than what we are seeing.

It is popular to feature children, dogs, horses and guns in campaign ads, particularly in the South.

Dr. Allen Long, candidate for the state school board, said in his campaign ad, “I couldn’t sit idly by any longer” as he also used the buzzword “woke liberals.” Yes, you can sit by. His patients need him more than the general public does. If he were so inclined, the state of healthcare, lack of access and Medicaid expansion would be issues that he could work on to put the Hippocratic Oath into practice.

Who does featuring a child with her arms folded help? All body language experts know that folded arms represent nonacceptance, shutdown, not listening, last word. Is this what the good doctor is promoting with children to produce the same closed-off adults?

It was clear with the shaded “parent,” the message that the doctor was sending. One parent spoke about her child receiving an assignment on “Black Lives Matter.” The other child received an assignment about transgender children.

See the issues that he considers the most important for children’s education and protection as people teaching are being killed while at school. See the divisiveness that he stands for.

We implore him to stay on the sidelines, try to build his practice so that he will not be idle, and refrain from running for a position to impose his will upon all Alabamians.

Then, there's Gary Palmer, a candidate for Congress. All over his entire ad is “Donald Trump’s candidate.” It is voiced over and in large letters throughout the ad. As annoying as all of the political ads are, this one should press any sensible person’s button.

Everybody does not support who Donald John Trump is, nor does everyone support what he does and doesn’t do. If Palmer is Donald John Trump’s candidate there is nothing left for any Alabamian. This is true whether you are Black or white.

There are as many white people who need health care as there are Black people who need health care. Simple numbers will tell you that. Look at the makeup of people using the Affordable Care Act. What will you do if candidate Trump wins and has Palmer in Congress? Trump tried in the past to shut down the Affordable Care Act. With people like Palmer, he could very well have his way.

If Palmer is Trump’s candidate, he surely could move to Florida and become more representative of Trump. After he moves, see how long it takes him to buddy-hustle invitation to Mara Lago. He will have quite a wait.

Elaine Harris Spearman, Esq., a Gadsden native, is an attorney and is the retired legal advisor to the comptroller of the City of St. Louis. The views expressed are her own. 

This article originally appeared on The Gadsden Times: ELAINE HARRIS SPEARMAN: Political ads feature messages of exclusion