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The Voter’s Speakeasy featuring unbiased reporting and insight into life at Project Vote Smart from our staff, interns, and volunteers.

Everything You Need to Know About 21st Century Politics

2014 October 07 - Jamieson Bates

September 7th was the 50 year anniversary of the airing of the most notorious attack ad in history. 'Daisy,' a political commercial promoting eventual President, Lyndon B. Johnson, showed a little girl picking daisies, at peace, and happy. All of a sudden, a nuclear explosion fills the screen, changing everything. The commercial ends with a call to action: “Vote for Lyndon B. Johnson.”

Politicians have discovered it is not only cheaper but easier to manipulate voters emotionally rather than informing them intellectually. Since politics has become a dollars race, whoever raises the most money will win. Platforms, competence, and ideas have taken a back seat to attack ads and courage-less politicians.

A looming question has arisen: do citizens of the United States want to be informed intellectually?

According to a Gallup poll, just 19% trust government just about always or most of the time; 81% trust Washington only some of the time or never. That is why trustworthiness and non-partisanship are so important to changing the political landscape. Since the internet boom, it has been increasingly easy to reach a large number of voters. Political information resources have exploded online with the likes of,,, and, etc. These organizations believe the only way to overcome emotional voting is to provide non-partisan, factual information on candidates, but most importantly, to be a source that is trustworthy, and reliable.

This election season, attack ads will continue to be a force in the political marketplace and they grow evermore nasty ...

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