Saturday, December 10, 2011

Mudslinging season is in full swing

The summer months are generally void of interesting things to watch on television.  No football, no basketball, too much baseball, a little bit of tennis and golf, and I don’t find myself setting the reminder to watch cycling.
To fill that void, we can count on seeing politicians and their campaign commercials.
Election season seems to bring out the best and the worst in people running for public office.  The flyers start filling our mailboxes, the random pre-recorded phone calls, and the negative campaign ads.
What drives me nuts about election season is all of the negative things candidates say about each other.  This negativity isn’t just coming from candidates from opposing parties, but it comes from candidates that are supposedly on the same side of the aisle.  They are putting each other on blast and not holding any punches. 
These people are willing to say any negative thing they can think of about their opponent in order to win our vote.  Anything from a person’s past is fair game and will be exposed if they decide to throw their name in the hat for election. No stone is left unturned when talking about the opponents past, present and future mistakes.  
That piece of gum you stuck under the desk in 3rd grade might come back to haunt you if you want to be the representative for district 5 in the state election.  Clearly, sticking that piece of gum under the desk is an indication of the type of person you really are, right?
In years past, I would throw the flyers away without reading them because I just didn’t want to see all the negative things candidate “A” said about candidate “B” and vice versa.  Now I take the time to see what they say about each other and find some of this stuff more humorous than the comic section of the Sunday newspaper.
These people go from city to city, town to town, shaking hands and kissing babies to get our vote.  They will stand at the podium and tell us every reason why we shouldn’t cast our vote for the other candidate. 
The odd thing about their speeches is that they fail to mention all of the dirt hiding behind their closet door. They forgot to mention the $100,000 they took from the president of a certain company in exchange for their vote on a major issue.  They also forgot to mention how they voted on certain bills that may have had a negative impact on the community and the voters they represent.
Politicians make it hard for voters to decipher through all of the mudslinging and see the type of candidate they really are.
I don’t want to hear all the negative stuff about the other candidate.  Tell me more about you and what your plans are if you were to be elected.  Be honest enough with the people and tell us some of your flaws before the other candidate’s campaign staff exposes it. 
Don’t make empty promises about what you are going to do when you get elected and two years later catch amnesia if asked about the very thing your campaign was run on. 
This is exactly why voting down party lines is an ill advised strategy in my opinion. Not all of the candidates from a certain party stand for the same things you might stand for.  There are crooks and bad humans in all parties and the last thing we need to do is vote for a candidate just because.
Don’t go in the voting booth and pull the lever for all the candidates in any party.  If they aren’t right for the job, regardless of party affiliation, it’s our obligation not to vote for them. 
I was taught as a kid that if I didn’t have anything good to say about somebody, not to say anything at all.  I really question voting for a candidate that says anything negative about another candidate, but if I had to vote on that principle alone, I wouldn’t cast a vote for anybody these days.

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