Published 4:32 am Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Wouldn’t it be more informative for voters if politicians spent more time telling us what they would do and why they would do it if they are elected than telling us what their opponents have done wrong and what they may do that could be wrong?
Candidate, tell us why we should vote for you, not why we should not vote for your opponent. Candidate, tell us why your solution to Problem A is better than your opponent’s solution to Problem A. Candidate, tell us your solution to Problem B instead of telling us that your opponent does not have a solution to Problem B.
The tone of most political advertisements these days, from local races to the presidential race, is negative. Those advertisements, for the most part, paint a candidate’s opponent as being the wrong choice. They also paint a candidate’s opponent as the person who would lead the county, state or nation down the path to ruin and despair.
Not that there’s anything wrong with pointing out an opponent’s shortcomings, flaws and mistakes in judgment. There are ways to do that, but negative advertisement after negative advertisement is not the way to do it.
A candidate would be better served by spending money to tell voters he or she has a plan for fixing the economy and what that plan entails instead of telling voters that electing his or her opponent will be bad for the economy. Give the public a message of substance, not sensationalism.
It seems candidates are opting for negative campaigning sooner and more often then in the past. Usually, a candidate will choose to have his or her campaign go negative to create fear, uncertainty and doubt about an opponent, according to an article about negative campaigning by William S. Bike, author of “Winning Political Campaigns: A Comprehensive Guide to Electoral Success,” a how-to guide on all aspects of political campaigning.
Would not voters be better served with campaigns that educate and motivate voters than scaring and worrying them?
Negative campaigning means turning the spotlight on an opponent’s deficiencies.
Instead of taking that approach, how about a candidate turning the spotlight on his or her experience, qualifications and accomplishments? Candidates, give voters reason after reason to vote for you. Don’t make a campaign sound like a choice between the lesser of two evils.
With all the attack ads being launched lately, can voters help but wonder if there is any candidate worthy of their votes. If someone relied solely on political advertisements to learn about candidates, that person likely would come to a quick conclusion that no candidate is honest, trustworthy, a hard worker and deserving of anyone’s support.
It would be refreshing if candidates would understand that voters would rather have candidates exhibiting character instead of providing character assassinations.
It is understood that to sling mud, one must get one’s hands dirty. Too much slinging of mud obscures the candidates and the issues they need to address.
It’s time for candidates to clean up their campaigns and focus on solving problems instead of finding someone to blame for the problems.
Yes, Halloween is a little more than two weeks away, but that does not mean candidates have to frighten and scare us with a barrage of negative advertisements.