Toxic Ads and How to Counter Them

Source: The American Prospect
by Richard Lempert

“I still recall an ad from about 50 years ago. Its message was simple: ‘The young man on the rise today votes Republican. Think about it.’ As a generalization, the claim might have been true, though I doubt that there was evidence supporting it. … As people earned more, they may have become more likely to vote Republican, but voting Republican has never been a formula for success in life. I call this ad ‘toxic’ because not only does it play on human emotions and seek to exploit fallibilities of human cognition (here, the mistaken tendency to see causation in correlation) for political advantage, but also because it does so without providing any reason for accepting the ad’s argument.” [editor’s note: As long as we also consider Democratic Party ads toxic, this is good advice – SAT] (11/11/21)