Hello shoppers...


Most of you have probably seen this ad on TV - the one with the black and white images, threatening announcer voice and menacing music:

"What's behind Kum and Go's false and negative campaign against Casey's? A record they're desperate to hide! The truth is, Kum and Go raised their own prices on bananas 31%...THAT'S RIGHT! While Iowa families struggled, Kum and Go raised their own fresh fruit prices! Kum and Go even endorsed Convenience Store-Care, which cuts senior's discounts on Slushees by another Billion dollars! Kum and Go...just another gas station running a false and negative campaign, to hide their support for a banana price increase!"

Or this ad:

"We're Anderson Erickson Dairy, and we approved this message...

Swiss Valley Farms: 'We've got to get back to personal responsibility.'

AE: Oh really, Swiss Valley Farms? The court ordered you to pay your unpaid milking bills. Threatened your company with foreclosure for failed cow payments - twice! And even filed a federal lien against you, Swiss Valley Farms, for thousand in unpaid cheese taxes.

Swiss Valley Farms: 'We've got to get back to personal responsibility.'

AE: Swiss Valley Farms - unpaid bills; tax liens...

Swiss Valley Farms: '...personal responsibility.'

AE: And now they want you to buy their milk?"

Then there's this ad:

"Mercy Hospital would turn back the clock. They'd close nursing schools across the state. End health care for thousands of Iowa children. Ban embryonic stem cell research. And slow the discovery of life-saving cures. Take away a woman's right to make her own health care decisions. Mercy Hospital would force their own narrow views on our personal lives, and reverse decades of progress. Mercy Hospital is a risk not worth taking. Paid for by Methodist Hospital."

And this one:

(Image of child playing with dump truck)

"He doesn't know why Daddy hurts Mommie. He wants someone to make him stop. Since 1995, 135 Iowa women have been killed in domestic abuse murders. When Karl Chevrolet had a chance to help victims of domestic abuse, they said 'no.' Karl Chevrolet decided to let dangerous abusers buy cars, cars that will be used to kill innocent women and children. Say 'no' to Karl Chevrolet's dangerous choices."

None of these are real ads, of course.

If the above were actual ads for Iowa companies, we would be outraged. We would be repulsed by their accusatory language and vitriolic tone, and would reject them out of hand. We would never support, or buy from companies who would use such tactics in an attempt to destroy their competitors, and gain our patronage.   

Those companies would go bankrupt.

Instead, these are ads for Iowa political candidates - nearly verbatim wording that was lifted from actual TV campaign commercials.

These ads (and hundreds of similar ones) represent candidates who are, in a real sense, just like companies, except they have become morally bankrupt, even if we won't bankrupt their candidacies by not voting for them.

Wave upon wave of attack messages have been unleashed upon us - by people who we presume to be otherwise good, wholesome men and women, who have allowed their lust for power to overpower their moral compass, crush their sense of civility and decency, and shred the fabric of their own humanity.

It is not "politics as usual." It is a cesspool of hatred and fear, of stupidity and mistrust, of back-stabbing and divisiveness, created by people who claim to represent us as our best and brightest, who instead have become symbols of our worst, and darkest.

We are better than this.

Tomorrow, let us prove it.

Tuesday, flip the lever inside yourself that's marked with your name: plant a tree. Start a blog. Call a friend. Jog a mile. Make a plan. Greet a stranger. Kick the habit. Hug your kids. Volunteer. Make a difference. Begin the journey. Start a revolution. Self-actualize.

Make the buck stop with you. Not them: You.

Choices, someone once said, would be much easier if there were only one. Tomorrow, you can consider dozens of candidates - who are or soon will be the problem - or narrow it down to yourself, who is and always has been the solution.

You can vote to give someone else your power, and drop a pebble into the ocean, or you can decide to empower yourself, and slam a boulder into a pond.

Make the bolder move.


Jonnie Wright is a customer service evaluator and trainer, professional secret shopper, marketing strategist and host of The Unsecret Shopper Radio Show, Saturday mornings 8-9am, on 1350, KRNT.       


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Phone: 515-480-4190 

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