Like many other Americans, I am not thrilled by the looming specter of paid political ads soon to be appearing on the nation's TV screens. Again, we will be force-fed glossy, nonsubstantive advertisements that will attempt, in the grand Madison Avenue tradition, to persuade the viewer to "buy" the product whether that product is worth "buying" or not. The advent of television and radio advertising for political campaigns has eliminated many competent people from even considering running for office due to the massive costs involved.
Since the philosophy of the candidate is infinitely more important than the image or the money (one shudders to think how Lincoln would have done in a media campaign), the increasing reliance on television to sell a campaign is detrimental to the election process and could actually be construed as being harmful to the national well-being. When the surgeon general determined that cigarettes were harmful to the health of the nation, all radio and TV advertising was subsequently banned. Since the health of the political process and the well-being of the nation is likewise threatened by paid political advertisements, they also should be banned from the airwaves.
EDWARD R. COLBURN
Playa Del Rey