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Kill The EPA, Kill Your Baby

The following piece was written at 4 in the morning on April 25th, 2011, dealing with a controversial ad that was running at the time. Since the ad aired, progress on attacks on the EPA have made little headway, and the organization is currently still in business.

The EPA estimates that 160,000 early deaths — including 230 infants — were prevented by the Clean Air Act in 2010. Don’t let Congress strip the EPA’s authority to implement clean air standards that limit air pollution. Clean air saves lives.

This quote comes from the organization “American Family Voices” in their description on YouTube for their controversial ad entitled “Somewhere Else.”

The video puts forth the simple assertion that if the EPA wasn’t around, then harmful chemicals would make it into places you don’t want it to be, including baby food. The ad, depicts a faceless man in a suit complete with cufflinks, walking up to a cabinet and taking out a jar of baby food, only instead of nutritious flavors, the jar labels have the names of dangerous chemicals such as arsenic. The man then takes a spoonful of the arsenic, and force-feeds it to the baby who puts up protest, and then ingests the substance with a look showing that the baby knows that this is a bad thing. As the voiceover gives the statistics, it ends saying that “some of those deaths would be very, very early.” The ad then pauses on the baby’s worried face, and fades out to the web address where you can find more about the issue.

Some might express shock at the blunt nature of the ad, and some, including Glenn Beck, may even laugh at the ad and baby death in general. The point is, the ad is perfect example of using shock to get attention towards a cause. Of course, judging by its total YouTube views of only 5,000, some would argue that the ad is a failure since it has failed to gain suitable attention from the public. Of course, the issue of attention could be due to the fact that the story is simply difficult to understand. From what this writer can gather, Republicans, going off the mantra that small government makes a big happy family, have decided that the EPA could overstep its bounds in regulating emissions used for creating catastrophic events such as Global Warming, and thus must be cut back. American Family Voices, seeing the usefulness of the EPA in combating environmental issues such as Global Warming, and have created this ad to protest this possible attack on the EPA.

The EPA is certainly a helpful organization, but should American Family Voices have used such tactics? After all, we as a culture hold babies in a general high regard, and an ad showing the Earth being consumed by Global Warming could be mistaken as the trailer for another Roland Emmerich film. Not everybody believes in Global Warming, or cares about it, but everybody loves babies. It would therefore stand to reason that since babies could be negatively affected by an alternate-universe where the EPA is n0 more. After all, those who harm babies must be stopped, therefore the man in the suit giving the baby arsenic must be stopped. By leading your audience down this path of reasoning, thus leading them to your side, the ad can be deemed affective. Unless you deem it ineffective because you’re leading your audience down a superfluous and reaching rabbit hole of logic.

On the other hand, it could be argued that the ad violates moral decorum by stooping to a level where we’re inadvertently accusing people who support cutting funding for the EPA, baby killers. On the other hand, it could also be argued that the video simply stems from a vast array of partisan cliches in the never-ending battle of the non-existent forces of good and evil in an ocean of self-serving greed. Republicans see something that doesn’t fit with their mantra, so they act against it. Liberal, or anti-Republican forces counter against it, so Republicans make fun of it. Liberal or anti-Republican forces make fun of the Republicans making fun of it because they have factual inaccuracies in their arguments against the other.

This cycle of partisan bickering is fruitless. Nothing will probably ever come of the attempts to cut the EPA down, and the ad is probably forgotten by the time I publish this post. So why did you just read this blog up until this point? So the question could be posed of the moral decorum of political ads. Because if we give credence/attention to the ad facetiously making a connection between Republican Congressmen and baby killers, then it opens the gate for even more morally ambiguous and possibly offensive political ads to make their way onto the internet until we reach a point where we hit a true cultural low-point that will eventually lead to the fall of our societal Rome. As always, the choice is yours. Choose wisely. The fate of our nation is in your hands.

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  1. August 25, 2016 at 8:18 pm

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