Open elections

Thomas Lifson
Much verbiage has been devoted to the breakout YouTube commercial with Hillary as Big Sister in the famous Apple Computer 1984 ad. That the author of this parody remains a secret is one of several important aspects of its allure.

The ad was run nearly in its entirety on many news programs, giving it more exposure than many paid commercials. Not only does this open up the political advertising realm ("democratization", if you will), it also raises an interesting and perhaps alarming door.

Reader Jim Jelinski writes:
It seems to me that the long-standing American law prohibiting foreign interference in American elections is no longer a dam, holding back the water. It is now bypassed, an island in a stream, so to speak.

I guess we'll see if this works out for good or evil.
He is exactly correct. To name one example, Bill Clinton received campaign donations through intermediaries that originated overseas, in China. This resulted in criminal prosecutions.

But now, China could fund the production of sophisticated internet-based commercials, and the means to discover it would be constrained. Needless to say, China does not allow uncensored internet access, so our ability to respond in kind is limited to nonexistent.

Perhaps China is not the best example, as clever and innovative ads may be beyond the ken of communist functionaries. Other nations have their own preferences among candidates, some of them with sophisticated advertising and creative industries at home. There is nothing to prevent any foreign nation from producing internet-based advertising aimed at the American electorate.
Much verbiage has been devoted to the breakout YouTube commercial with Hillary as Big Sister in the famous Apple Computer 1984 ad. That the author of this parody remains a secret is one of several important aspects of its allure.

The ad was run nearly in its entirety on many news programs, giving it more exposure than many paid commercials. Not only does this open up the political advertising realm ("democratization", if you will), it also raises an interesting and perhaps alarming door.

Reader Jim Jelinski writes:
It seems to me that the long-standing American law prohibiting foreign interference in American elections is no longer a dam, holding back the water. It is now bypassed, an island in a stream, so to speak.

I guess we'll see if this works out for good or evil.
He is exactly correct. To name one example, Bill Clinton received campaign donations through intermediaries that originated overseas, in China. This resulted in criminal prosecutions.

But now, China could fund the production of sophisticated internet-based commercials, and the means to discover it would be constrained. Needless to say, China does not allow uncensored internet access, so our ability to respond in kind is limited to nonexistent.

Perhaps China is not the best example, as clever and innovative ads may be beyond the ken of communist functionaries. Other nations have their own preferences among candidates, some of them with sophisticated advertising and creative industries at home. There is nothing to prevent any foreign nation from producing internet-based advertising aimed at the American electorate.