It’s Election Day (at last!): A Nostalgic Look at Elections-Gone-By

photo credit: University of Minnesota

The other day I showed you that poor little girl who was crying because she was so tired of “Bronco Bamma” and Mitt Romney. (Slide down that post to see her video at the end.)

I think she spoke for MANY people (me) who are feeling exactly the same.

Enough already!!!!

Technology has changed elections in many ways. Television, social media, and computers have made it a vastly different playing field than it was 60 years ago.

Personally I am very disappointed in the way it has evolved. Hateful emails and TV commercials have been bombarding us for months, spewing anger and venom. To me it seems as though the push is “you better vote for me because the other guy will mess you up!” They are one step away from 3rd grade playground behavior “Liar! Liar! Pants on Fire!”

All negative, all the time. 😦

It was 60 years ago that the first computer was used in a Presidential election. Some of my readers (along with me) might remember UNIVAC. 1952 was the first time that computers were used to help predict the outcome. UNIVAC took up most of a whole room, a marvelous “electronic brain”. Yes, UNIVAC made the correct call for that election. You can read all about it, here.

About the same time, television was being used to promote the candidates.

Here is a television ad for Dwight D Eisenhower for that election in 1952:

And here is a commercial for John F Kennedy just a few years later.

Just watch this Kennedy commercial. You can’t help but feel good.

I was too young (way too young) to vote for either of these fellows, but I wish we could bring back some of the “happy” feel to the election process of today.

As I step into the voting booth I’ll be thinking of Ike and John and wishing I could vote for one of them with their “feel good” commercials.

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34 thoughts on “It’s Election Day (at last!): A Nostalgic Look at Elections-Gone-By

  1. Not to mention that some of us already voted thanks to early voting, which has become much more prevalent.

    LOL -UNIVAC! I remember my high school history book had a picture of the UNIVAC.

    I’m with you – many political ads are annoying. Over here, its usually the races for Congress or state legislative offices that are the most vicious and over the top. Okay, I have to admit some of them are comical- even though they aren’t meant to be comical.

    The Simpsons made one of the best spoofs of a political ad years ago: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HXBDEPr9P9k

    • Oh, I wish we had early voting, here. But we don’t. My son lives in Seattle and I think he voted weeks ago. That was a great Simpson’s spoof! Thank you for linking to that. 🙂

  2. What an different twist on an election eve post. Love this!! I was too young to vote either. Interesting that the commercials didn’t change too much in those 10 years. The Kennedy one got a few punches in there – “not too seasoned”, “young enough to do”… Another winning post!

    • I noticed the Kennedy punches, too. If I was the person making ads today, I think it would be fun to make a retro one like this. Something catchy that people LIKE to watch when it shows up on the TV. I know I tune out when ads come on.

      • That would be SO funny. I wouldn’t be surprised if someone didn’t do that after reading your post. Kind of late in this election, but one thing that comes around pretty regularly is an election – somewhere!!!

  3. What deliciously naive commercials compared with the slick stuff of today.. I read a lovely quote the the day from Jo Kennedy who is reputed to have said to John, I’m not paying for a landslide!
    And what a polished, thoughtful and amusing post, thank you…

    • They are delightful, I think. Today’s commercials make me “tune out” as soon as they appear. And although they were naive, the times were difficult, yet the ads made you feel good about the future. I think today’s writers could learn a lot from the past.

  4. Daniela says:

    I have enjoyed watching the commercials very much, thank you for posting them. I know they may seem naïve when compared with today’s ‘digital democracy’, but they certainly seem to convey far more genuine sentiment. Here in NZ your country elections are followed very closely … if I may say so this year especially there is a feeling of concern. I do hope it all somehow works out -;)!
    Kind Regards,
    Daniela

  5. Alice says:

    I remember Ike, but I did not remember the political ad. That’s because we did not have a TV until 1957. A great sigh of relief that today has arrived at last.

  6. Happy voting day! We have had a lot of coverage of it out here too, although we are spared the dreadful ads. I was in the States during election time some years ago and I was amazed at how they trash each other like that. All very interesting. Looking forward to hearing the result tomorrow.

    • I think all that trashing is just horrid. I would love to see candidates stand tall and proud and explain positively what they would do to make things better. “here is what I would do…. ” And then we could weigh these things and make a choice. But now it is so convoluted that very often we are voting “against” someone rather than “for” someone.

  7. Although I’m not American, I’ve decided who I want to see as the next U.S. president. Barack Obama has proven himself to be quite capable of running the country in my opinion, so I’d like to see him re-elected for another four years. I

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