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Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Running negative - again

Here we go again. The TV ads for this congressional campaign are on the air and, The New York Times reports, the theme is decidedly negative. Why does it have to be that way?

The political experts say that pointing out flaws is the only way to focus on policy differences between the candidates. That would be acceptable if the attacker would state his or her position on the issue being criticized. But you usually don't even learn the attackers' identity until the tagline of the commercial, if at all.

All these negative ads, especially the ones that distort the opponent's appearance along with his or her record, are a major turnoff for voter turnout. Why participate in such a distasteful activity? It also discourages good people from running, with seemingly everything they've done since grade school subject to public scrutiny and distortion.

Voting is a duty. Public service should be a calling. Negative campaign ads are a call to opt out.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Nick Fera said...

Candidates nowadays hurl insults publicly at their opponents which are so personal that, a few generations ago, it would have prompted a duel. In another era, a candidate might have thought those thoughts, but if he said them aloud, he would be cleaning his pistol for a Saturday morning meeting.

2:40 PM, September 28, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's a sound bite world. Since you can't explain why we need a national health care plan in 30 seconds, might as well just point out what a sleezebag your opponent is.

It's campaign crack - quick and easy.

6:16 PM, September 28, 2006  

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