Chairman’s Corner by Scott McGraw

It’s been quite an active primary so far this year and I’m sure this next week will feature more fireworks. The television airways have been jammed with political ads for weeks now and even this morning (Aug. 1) every ad on the morning news is from a politician. Back-to-back-to-back political ads. Even the mailbox is not immune to the onslaught of negativity. I’ve noticed an increase in the amount of political mail – and most of it has accusations of one sort or another. I can’t even imagine what is going on in social media. Those of you who know me, know I am not a fan of Facebook and only post photos (occasionally) and never read posts.

I thought the governor’s race was getting muddy at the beginning of this process with Bill Schuette and Brian Calley trading blows early on. But these have been some of the milder ads I’ve seen in recent weeks. Between the Dems running for Congress and the Governor’s Office and a couple Republican races, it is getting thick with jabs and punches. When did the truth become optional in political advertising?

This isn’t a new trending in politics by any means, but it is becoming the norm – and that’s disturbing. There is more broadcast advertising in this primary than I can remember in a long time.

I guess that’s why politicians are doing everything they can do to stand out from the pack. I’m not a fan of Gretchen Whitmer’s cursing in her television ads and I hope that trend does not catch on. I think she’s getting a lot of negative reaction to her ads and I’m am encouraged that will stop soon. Of course, if Shri Thanedar wins the ads will stop immediately. I’m sure the Dems weren’t expecting this tight race. They were ready to crown Gretchen queen for the past couple of years and now two valid challengers have emerged in Shri and Abdul El-Sayed. 

The Dems are also fighting over who can challenge Fred Upton for Congressman in the 6th District. The common theme in their advertising is to attack Donald Trump and throw in a comment or two about Fred. The shocking thing in this race is the extreme the Dems are going to protest against Fred. Every week for the past two years, and sometimes more often, there are been protesters in front of his Kalamazoo office, his St. Joseph office and other places pounding pots and disrupting traffic. 

I’m sure it’s going to get worse between the primary and general elections as the stakes are high this cycle. I’m not a fan of this negativity, and I’m sure I’m not the only one. But as long as the truth is optional, we will have people pushing the limits.