They're not campaign advertisements, they're psycho-storms, hypnotic cyclones of doubt, descending on the flat, calm plains of underinformed, undecided, or unconvinced voters in an attempt to shake enough of us, to make enough of us believe the worst, and, sometimes, the downright ridiculous.
If we can suspend reality enough to believe that the Dems are going to send sick and elderly people to death panels, or that the Repubs are going to turn back the clock for gays, women and other minority groups, we are right in the thick of the harsh political paranoia that engenders U.S. politics right now.
These days, it's chic to look over your shoulder, and not just within standard "politics as usual." Anti-establishment groups, such as the Zeitgeist Movement, have decided that the money and power hungry leaders in this country have cooked up one brilliantly executed scheme after another to gain mastery and complete control of the people of the world. Globalization is part of this elaborate plan, as well as were the 9-11 attacks. The whole argument, the movie (there are two) are well-thought-out and very convincing. But, I also note that some of the craziest people in the world can be very convincing (think cult leaders: Jones, Manson, etc). If you are willing to be led, and just suspicious enough of what's going on around you, you can suspend your own reality enough to believe that the boogie man is in the shadows, waiting.
So, when you go to the polls (or not), make sure that you close the curtain tightly behind you. You never know who's watching...