Over the years, Americans have grown weary of watching and listening to manipulative and uncensored political advertisements. These ads have been characterized as lies because instead of focusing on the substantive issues they dwell more on the unnecessary words that are quoted from the entire messages concept. The propagators of this disturbing trend are the same laws that have allowed politicians to express themselves freely. As a result, they go on to air false advertisements while they are virtually unregulated but entirely useful for those in the political arenas. What is most disturbing is that ads have taken on a new trend where politicians can use their preferred platforms from the internet, televisions, and radios. In America, politicians are allowed and required to air their advertisements in whichever way they find suitable in the absence of standardized methods of deterring them from defaming their opponents.
Nonetheless, the New York Times vs. Sullivan enactment has been in practice for more than four decades where standard measures are laid down preventing politicians from defaming each other. However, despite its presence most victims of political defamation have resulted to remaining silent despite the political damages they have experienced from the impunities caused by false information from their opponents. Moreover, due to the uninformed opinions that most public figures have presented most Americans have been left with little or no confidence in the American government. This is because the law has been unable to formulate proper legislations to remedy the victims and to deter other from doing the same in future. Therefore, this research will dwell on the best ways through which new methodologies can either be formulated or a revision to be done on the existing ones which are currently acting as standards of false political advertisements.
The New York Times vs. Sullivan law has been criticized for not remedying victims or deterring potential offenders from committing the same impunities (New York Times Co. v. Sullivan 376). However, it remains the most competent formula of curing politicians from advertising false information. Nonetheless, the actual malice law needs to take on a different shape through revising its statutes. This Act should be amended to allow the federal government to penalize the politician who has advertised a defaming ad of their opponents. Also, the original malice law should be revised to ensure that the victim candidate initiates the lawsuit instantly while the government should be mandated to give priority to this cases so that appropriate judgments can be made.
The original law has been in action for over forty years, and it has done an excellent job of promoting the freedom of speech act which safeguards politicians rights to expressing their beliefs being infringed. Therefore, this law should continue to be put in practice. Moreover, with the speed and easy accessibility to the internet this law has stopped being the insurmountable mountain (Smith and Maeve 12). Moreover, it is time offensive candidates started facing monetary penalties. By so doing the initial malice Act requirement that the advertising medium does not undergo excessive damages that may jeopardize its existence will be more efficient. Therefore, once the law is revised the offensive politicians will be held responsible for the whole incidence and as a result, they will have to pay for all the damages occurring. However, even if the press is protected and the offender pays for the damages they have caused the victims situation is not remedied. Therefore, for the law to fully redress the victim and deter others, it is important that additional monetary penalties are incurred where the accused should pay for a retraction advertisement within the same advertising medium. Additionally, the revocation message should run for the same time that the defamation ad was aired. As a result, the disclaimer statement of the offender will reverse the defamation message while it ensures to affect positively the campaign status of the affected party. Moreover, from the withdrawal message the defamed victim will be officially vindicated while the voters are allowed to reconsider their opinions from the earlier falsified information. Further, with this kind of statute other politicians will be deterred from airing defamation advertisements due to the monetary damages penalties that will be imposed on them for another publication of the retraction message.
The other change that should be acquitted on the actual malice law is to make sure that policies are initiated where the victims can be allowed to launch the lawsuits against their defamers (Lilleker et al 196). On the other hand, courts will also be mandated with the power to speedily resolve in this situation. Here a government agency will be created and given the power to investigate and charge the offenders with advertising false information about their opponents. However, if these agencies are to be created political concepts should be avoided at all cost although with this approach critics will still question on the non-partisan nature that this revision should take. Therefore, in a bid to avoid all the inconveniences that may come with formulating a government agency the district courts should be mandated to take action as a federal court. Consequently, within two days of filing the case from where the advertisement has originated a hearing session should be started immediately. This is because campaign defamations often have timeline challenges while the offenders should be alleged before the court before the campaign period is over (Johnson-Cartee and Gary 42). Therefore, due to the lengthy and cumbersome process that a jury may take to resolve the case and the intense need to resolve this case in time the district courts should be mandated to begin this process. Thus, the prosecutor on the advertisements on defamation claims will make preliminary findings. Then the court will issue the advertising medium a cease order which will prevent the victim from undergoing any further political damages. However, the judge in such a case will ensure to tell the jury members that the decision they will come up with should not be influenced by the courts findings.
A second way through which those in public offices can be held by a standard of truth is by the voters demanding that all candidates run under oath (Gabriel 1) Moreover, politicians should also present report cards where the public can evaluate whether they are qualified on not to be elected into any public office. By so doing running candidates will provide the voters with advertisements that they have formulated with a mindset that they are sworn under the perjury penalty. With this standard measure candidates will have to behave like officials of the court of law. From this dimension, candidates and elected members will be held accountable for any false information they present to the public when they are in the campaign trails or in office.
Therefore, whichever information they present to the public will be correct and non-misleading. This is because presenting falsified information will lender them to a penalty, dismissal from the election, fines, sanctions, and other disciplinary actions according to the severity of the ordeal. It is clear that the initial malice laws make freedom of speech for political leaders absolute and the people too are advocate that their leaders speak freely. However, every candidates main aspiration is to lead the nation as its commander in chief. However, their comments often lead the nation to make national dialogues on health care issues, war, and environmental problems. Most importantly, politicians are accrued with the responsibility of shaping the public opinion on very important issues affecting the nation (Lariscy 16). Therefore, the words and information they advertise and post on online sites should be held on the standards of truth and if they have given false information they should be prosecuted for committing perjury.
For instance, people like Donald Trump should have been held accountable for the information he gave about Muslims in New Jersey while Hillary Clinton should have been held responsible for falsifying information about the gun industry in America. By being held accountable like the court of law officials politicians who advertise false information will have to prove the eligibility and accuracy of the messages they have given about their opponents or the state. Here politicians will be charged in the public opinion court where they are mandated to attend as the suspects in the entire case (Gabriel 1). However, despite this approach the rights of speech and expression should not be infringed. Public figures and especially politicians have the right to state their opinions despite the extremity or how bizarre their concepts may sound. Therefore, even if a candidate takes to advertising in a local area or the international arenas the information they provide will hold them accountable for any damages that they can cause to their competitors. The ethical rule governing the perjury penalty will prosecute them for giving any information that can defame or destabilize the government in any way.
While the perjury penalty will extensively affect those standing for political seats with a law licence other will still have to campaign after agreeing to do so by the oath. Therefore, some occurrences will be evaded where ordinary politicians elicit false comments. For example, Ted Cruzs alleged blame on Obama care for losing his health care insurance and Bernie Sanders allegations that he was a stronger candidate than Hillary Clinton (Gabriel 1). The need for a standardized political platform is because most voters greatly rely on the accuracy of a candidates information when they are making any choices especially on the ballot box. Therefore, the information that they get from public figures determines their voting choices. In present times many politicians feel that they have the right to say anything despite the damaging consequences it has on either their opponents or the government (Sobieraj and Jeffrey 20). This is because there are very few consequences that they can face in reaction to their falsified statements, outright lies, and half-truths.
Unfortunately, instead of losing credibility this candidates number of polls often doubles despite the fact that the information they have presented is extremely inaccurate. Moreover, the campaign strategist, analysts, political consultants and the entire campaigning team in all parties are consistently relying on research. From the research on propaganda and the social science cynical view that politics is a dirty game politicians end up agreeing that this arena is made up of dirty games and thus truth is not an important element (Iyengar 75). Moreover, from a social science view people dwell on illusionary truth. Therefore, when voters are presented with information repeatedly even though its false they slowly believe that the statement submitted is correct (Ridout and Michael 15). The fact remains that every platform be it in sports, education, industries etc all have well laid out mandates to fine or even suspend any department, person, section or process that does not act to the required codes. Therefore, politics and especially in advertisement needs to be standardized and regulated.
Moreover, citizens need to regulate this arena because their taxations are used to facilitate all elections and pay salaries for those in office. For instance, to ensure the smooth flow of the 2016 elections America has estimated that $5 billion will be spent in successfully completing the election season (Gabriel 1). With this money candidates are polished and p...
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