This campaign commercial illustrates both what I like and dislike about Mitt Romney.
First, I totally agree with him. In my previous post I wrote about my own very recent enlightenment that my media consumption deeply colors my blogging. People, and not just children, are affected by the culture that surrounds them. It's the nature of our brains to form internal patterns to recognize and categorize the familiar, making the culture we expose ourselves to normal and things outside of our experience strange.
The government and the president, outside of a media campaign to educate us, has very little to do with this. The children that Mitt discusses in his ad are primarily impacted by parenting. Electing one candidate or another will have very little effect on this if we don't change our attitudes towards parenting. It could be argued that the government changed national attitudes towards smoking, so perhaps this isn't so far-fetched. I'm just very leery of any candidate that wants to tackle problems almost completely beyond the reach of the government. (See also: costs, health care.)
Lastly, Mitt's speech pattern is weird. Like Hillary's or Obama's or most of the rest of them, he's got that strange, halting speech pattern you'd use if you were talking in a foreign language. It's like he's having to translate the words before he speaks. It completely wrecks the message for me. He's not a friend having a conversation, he's some nut who thinks he has to talk down to me.
The only candidate who doesn't do this is Fred Thompson. His speech is natural and unforced. If he's scheming and plotting as he talks, it doesn't show. Unlike, say, Hillary Clinton, the mistress of duplicity, Fred seems utterly genuine.