I wonder what would happen if a political candidate ran a campaign with no attack ads.
Can you imagine it – a politician earning votes just on their platform without interrupting every single commercial break for months on end?
As refreshing as this would be, the reality is that candidate would get murdered at the polls.
You might think you’re immune to these ads. You might think they’re just white noise. You may bemoan their arrival and rejoice at their departure the day after the election.
But no matter how much the majority of America complains about the persistence of negative political ads, the constant commercials aren’t going anywhere.
Why? Because political attack ads work.
The numbers back up the negativity. And not just in the realm of politics. As this Ad Age article sums up, marketers who use negative tactics usually find a positive response in their business.
This can’t be the case, can it? Everyone hates attack ads. They seem desperate and misleading. We all see right through them, right?
The truth is we all respond to fear. Fear is an undeniably powerful marketing tool.
The fear of what will happen to our great country. The fear of someone sniffing out our body odor (a term invented by a deodorant company!). The fear of being left out.
So we buy in.
Our defenses get worn down. While some of us resist being baited by our local congressional candidates, we still fall for the fear-mongering of other sales men.
I know I do. Fear lures me every day into protecting myself rather than serving others.
While we claim to vote from our hearts, our actions are often motivated by a marketing team’s scare tactics.
As this political season passes, I think it’s time for a recount.
The negative ads aren’t going to stop. They will only get worse as the next Presidential campaign kicks into gear.
Instead of letting fear control us, we need to remind ourselves everyday of God’s campaign promise:
There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. (1 John 4:18)
While fear creates a ballot based on lies and deceit, perfect love casts out fear.
Fear is rooted in selfishness. It is rooted in greed.
Those who peddle fear have lost their way. They are out for their own good above all else.
God never motivates us through fear. He tells us fear is not on His ticket.
He offers love and love in abundance. When we know we are covered by this great love we no longer have to worry about protecting ourselves. Then we are set free.
After all, with God’s great love on our side what is there to be afraid of?
When fear petitions for your vote, take heart. There is another candidate.
His name is the Lord, and He does not approve these messages.
Do you ever feel yourself giving into fear and forgetting God’s campaign of love?