Money Where Your Mouth Is

Dear John McCain and Barack Obama campaign people. Knock it off. I think I can speak for many of us when I say this. We’re sick of the cute gottcha ads, the one upping, the accusations and dredging up of pasts. If you don’t have better ideas of messages to get out besides one of you is an elite celebrity and another is an old man in expensive shoes here are some ideas.

How about taking the money you’re planning to spend on the next three TV commercials and give it to some school principals who could make great use of it? Staff members would be hired or hired back; full time nurses and psychological services could be purchased. Schools could have their libraries open all the time, maintained by trained school librarians instead of parent volunteers. Your commercial text could simply say: “Rather than run a campaign ad at this time, the money for its creation has been donated to the Shorewood School District for purchase of full time medical staff.” Then maybe show a picture of the school and a smiling child with a Band-Aid across her forehead and a tooth necklace on. The candidate’s name would come onto the screen and then go to a fade.

Instead of running your next juvenile attack ads, why not run this text across the screen? “The cost for creation of an ad for this spot has been used to purchase winter clothing for children in schools who have none.” Kids will have boots to wear through the snow instead of tennis shoes, mittens to put on instead of pulling sweater sleeves over freezing knuckles and scarves to wrap around open necklines of used clothes that will have to last the rest of the school year. Winter is coming and these are not exaggerated examples. People ought to know that every day teachers are providing their students clothing, shoes, boots, supplies, book fair money and field trip fees. I know people will say, well that’s the parents’ job, but you tell that to the six year old standing out at recess in fifteen degree weather covered only with a nylon wind breaker and a sweatshirt.

My colleagues could supply many more worthwhile ideas, so if politicians want to make a change, let‘s see it. If someone wants to defend our country, let’s not forget that our country is made up of its people, many of whom could use the benefits of campaign funding better spent. Putting their money where their mouths are would reap something tangible, definable. I wish someone had the guts to really do this thing differently. Instead of all these dollars going into manipulation, fear and doubt creation, they would give some real meaning to the HOPE and CHANGE both candidates claim they represent.

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