Small salvation in political ad season

I'd like to nominate the inventor of the TV remote control for the Nobel Peace Prize. That poor TV remote has suffered much abuse and humiliation over the years. It gets lost under the couch cushions along with dog hair and stale popcorn. It gets argued over in marital spats. It is made fun of in comics and comedy shows.

But, beginning today, I'd like to lift this valuable electronic life- (or at least, sanity-) saver up for the recognition it so greatly deserves. This year, as perhaps never before, we have been suffocated with commercial after commercial for one politician or another. But I discovered the most beautiful feature on my little remote — the "mute" button.

In these last weeks of campaigning I've taken to carrying my remote with me, and as soon as the political ads start, click, then lovely, peaceful silence. Thanks to this wonderful device I no long need to listen to Mr. A lie about Mr. B or Mr. B. falsify the record of Mr. A. Nor do I have to listen to one big-money funded group tell me that a slots pallor would be better on the property of another big-money funded group.

There's a serious side to what I'm writing, though. I wish all the politicians and their rich backers, along with the people funding the slots commercials, would take a step back and assess just how much money is being poured into all this advertising and how utterly wasteful it is.

In the end, I (and most voters) will vote according to our own opinions of candidates and issues, and all your money won't have made any difference. At the same time, there are still people suffering from disasters in Haiti, Pakistan, China and our own state of Louisiana. How much good your hundreds of millions of dollars could have done for these people.

There's still time. Cut the stupid ads. And give what remains of your political stash to charity. I'll be a lot more impressed with that than with the way you are spending it now.

Elsa L. Clark

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