Wiping off all the mud

Published 12:42 am Saturday, October 25, 2008

As election day draws near, so does another anticipated event: the end of the negative campaign ads.

Unfortunately, the candidates believe that the more mud they sling, the more likely they are to garner votes. The same holds true for national elections as well as statewide elections. The greasier they can paint their opponents, the better their chances of winning the election.

The saddest part of that issue is that we have no one to really blame but ourselves. If campaign workers didn’t find that negative ads were effective, they wouldn’t run them.

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They work because they pander to the lowest element of humanity, that part that enjoys watching people fight, either physically or verbally, and when it comes to a verbal fight, it doesn’t matter how true a statement is. As long as it’s a big deal, we’ll accept it.

It’s hard to say how we can show candidates that the negative ads aren’t wanted. Maybe they aren’t. Maybe more people like the negative ads and would vote for a candidate based on how much mud he can sling. It is our hope that we as a nation aren’t that gullible and would place some importance on the issues — not the issues as the candidates portray their opponents but the issues as the candidates represent them.

It’s as plain as the sun rising in the morning that candidates won’t tell the truth — the unvarnished, untarnished truth — no matter who they are. But it would be a breath of fresh air if the candidates would spend as much time discussing issues — talking about the nation’s problems and providing ideas — as they do painting negative portraits of their opponents. They do spend some time on issues but, especially as election day draws near, it seems like they spend very little of it.

Maybe if we voted against politicians based on the amount of negative press they turn out instead of for them because of it, we would be able to stomach political ads in the future, but the more we accept and approve of the negative advertising, he more of it we will see.