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Do It Yourself Campaign Ads 

Why should meckconservative have all the fun?

By now you've probably seen the Republican campaign ads on that Democrats have been moaning about. Created by someone called "meckconservative" (real identity unknown, of course, to any local GOP politicians), the low-budget ads attack County Commission Chair Parks Helms specifically, and Democrats in general, for supporting gay marriage, high taxes, and the general decline of Western civilization. Democrats yelled foul, but the truth is, in this day and age, they should have thought of it first. Placing some renegade ads online would have at least shown that local Dems are capable of rising from their big collective nap now and then.

But hey, it's not too late for the Dems, or anyone else for that matter, to get in on a good thing. Here's hoping we'll see a flood of hard-nosed political TV ads from all sides, filled with the kind of sweeping exaggerations and embroidery we've come to love in meckconservative's work.

My favorite meckconservative ad goes like this:

Republicans believe marriage is this ... [Footage of a bride and groom kissing in church]

Parks Helms & the Democrats believe this ... [Footage of a San Francisco gay parade featuring drag queens and leather-clad guys]

[Footage of Parks Helms talking about marriage, saying it is sanctified by the love of the two people involved. "Some men love men, some women love women. What's wrong with that?"

Helms' "What's wrong with that?" quote is then repeated three times.]

Republicans know "what's wrong with that."

Defend traditional marriage. Vote Republican.

Critics have said the ad is tasteless and off the main point, since Helms was speaking in favor of giving benefits to gay county employees' partners, not gay marriage. But, duh, that's what negative political ads do. Distortion is the name of the game. Personally, I think the ad's a little weak. If you're going to produce negative ads, go all the way. Show voters what you really think. If meckconservative had been more honest about the true conservative view, this is probably how the gay marriage ad would have gone:

Republicans believe marriage is this ... [Footage of the family from Father Knows Best]

Parks Helms & the Democrats think it means this ... [Footage of a woman in high-heeled boots and leather lingerie, whipping the back of a tied-up man with Parks Helms' face Photoshopped onto his head.

Helms' "What's wrong with that?" quote is then repeated three times.]

Republicans will show you "what's wrong with that," Parks [Footage of the Taliban using sticks to beat a man who looks a lot like Parks Helms]

Defend traditional marriage. Vote Republican.

Get the idea? Tell it like you really feel it; that's the trick to a successful, nasty campaign ad. Now, here's a possible Democratic response ad:

You know what Democrats stand for ... [Footage of smiling people at work, a baseball game, a white woman and a black woman hugging each other, a family camping together]

Jim Puckett, Bill James and the Republicans say they're the party of values and ethics. [Footage of Reps. Tom DeLay, Duke Cunningham and Bob Ney and lobbyist Jack Abramoff being arrested]

They just don't say which values. [Zoom to a close-up of Mark Foley.]

Protect yourself from Republican values. Vote Democratic.

Now are you getting it? If you're gonna play negative, you can't hold back. Let's try one more from the Democrats. And this time we'll really show how the Dems feel:

Democrats see good race relations this way ... [Footage of white and black children gathering around an ice cream truck]

Republicans see it as ... [Footage from Birth of a Nation, with hooded Klansmen riding into town on horses, and black people fleeing]

[Footage of Sen. Trent Lott saying, "We could have avoided all these problems if Strom Thurmond had been elected president in '48."]

Repeat "Strom Thurmond" quote a few times.

Democrats believe we've made progress and want to keep it that way.

Reject lynchings. Vote Democratic.

Gets right to the point, huh? But why should Republicans and Democrats have all the fun? The state's long-suffering Libertarian Party needs to jump on the Youtube bandwagon, too. Here's a prospective ad for those defenders of freedom:

Is this your idea of how government should work? [Footage of a traffic jam caused by light rail construction, congressmen asleep in their seats in the House of Representatives and shots of Jim Black and Mark Foley]

Feeling squeezed by government taxes and restrictions on your freedoms? [Scene from a Three Stooges feature: Curly is yelling, with his head in a vise, while Moe tightens it]

Does the thought of big government make you feel like this? [Footage of Curly running for his life from gangsters]

Then vote Libertarian, and enjoy more freedom. You'll love it. [Footage of Curly, smiling while being kissed on the cheek by a cute blonde]

There. Hopefully, that's enough to get other campaign-ad-mongers started. Send me your ideas for more negative political ads at the e-mail address listed at the bottom of this column.

To comment on this story, click on the link below. To contact John Grooms, e-mail him at

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