04 June 2022

Video of the day -- political ads

Bill Maher brings us a collection of hilariously stupid political ad clips.  Of course I know that politics these days tends to operate by clich├ęs, slogans, gimmicks, and demonization of opponents, but since I don't watch TV and practically never watch YouTube without an ad blocker, I almost never see political ads, and didn't realize they were this bad.  I'm sure Maher has chosen the (entertainingly) worst ones available, but still, this is what politicians and their consultants apparently believe will sway voters.  Is it any wonder so many people are just tuning politics out?

I do have one bone to pick with Maher here.  The question-and-answer series starting at 0:57 does offer some truly idiotic responses, and we all know people like this exist, but I certainly don't believe that they're typical.  Here are the questions:

Who was the first person to land on the Sun?

What is the biggest city in the world?

If you were born in 2021, how old would you be?

What country is Venice located in?*

Where is queen Elizabeth from?

I don't believe most people would have any difficulty answering these questions, except for #2, and even there most people certainly know that Asia and Europe are not cities.  The interviewers doubtless talked to a great many people, then chose only the most amusingly dumb responses to actually include in their show.

So Maher overstates his case here.  The "I'm smart but the masses are stupid and easily misled" mentality is an enduring disease of the left (on the right it more often takes the form of "I'm smart but everyone who disagrees with me is stupid and easily misled", but it's the same principle), and is itself part of the problem.  The political ads Maher excerpts reflect not how dumb people are, but how dumb the political elites believe they are.  This is why polling consistently shows that most people are angry at politicians and hold them in low esteem.  They know the politicians are treating them like idiots, and they don't like it.

[*As reader SickoRicko pointed out, the interviewer actually stated the answer when asking the question -- "What country is Venice, Italy located in?"  To me this makes it seem all the more likely that those interviews were staged, not real -- unless the person asked didn't know that Italy is a country, which I suppose is possible.]


Blogger SickoRicko said...

There are a fair number of uneducated people - even stupid ones - on any and all sides of an election. Belittling anyone is never really helpful, or nice. (I have to wonder, though, if that TikTok segment wasn't staged.)

04 June, 2022 12:34  
Blogger Mike said...

Jimmy Kimmel does a segment like that also. I like Kimmel but like you say, I wonder how many people he has to talk to to get those strange answers.

04 June, 2022 12:35  
Blogger Mary Kirkland said...

I don't have cable or over the air tv anymore just Netflix. One thing I don't miss are all the ads and commercials.

04 June, 2022 12:52  
Blogger Lady M said...

Actually a lot of kids know a lot. I am always made to feel somewhat old and stupid in the presence of my brilliant nieces and nephews.

04 June, 2022 16:03  
Blogger Jack said...

I have little doubt that there are some truly uninformed people out there. They aren't hard to find, but they also aren't typical. As for why people dislike politicians, I'd guess it has more to do with feeling like they're being lied to than being looked down on. But neither helps.

05 June, 2022 03:38  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Ricko: Belittling people is now almost a universal pastime, unfortunately. And the more I think about it, the more it seems those interviews must have been staged, unless they talked to hundreds upon hundreds of people to find those few needles of extreme dumbth in the demographic haystack.

Mike: Maybe he has a special panel of morons on call?

Mary K: They're a real nuisance. Every time I happen to look at YouTube without the ad blocker, it's jarring.

Lady M: Not really surprising. Most people can't be as stupid as the political-activist elites like to make out, or they wouldn't be able to make a living, for one thing.

Jack: One can't fault people feeling they're being lied to. Politicians routinely break campaign promises (to serve out a term in one office before running for another, for example), and seem to assume nobody will notice.

05 June, 2022 06:40  

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