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The Campaigns That Won’t End

Observer Scene | Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Everyone knows it’s nearly Election Day when the campaign ads start getting really, really nasty. Nothing screams “Elect me!” quite like attacking everything you possibly could about your opponent, from his voting record to his family life. I think we’re all ready for the election to be done and over with, not only to resolve this whole ‘who’s going to win’ issue, but to get those ads off the television. We all wonder if the negative ads are really necessary to running a campaign. It makes you wonder if either candidate is strong enough on his or her own merit to really win the election. Almost every ad I’ve seen has focused first on blasting the other candidate, and then basically said: “This candidate won’t do this. Sponsored by this candidate’s campaign.” The problem seems to be that neither candidate has actually told the truth in one of their campaign ads. I feel like everything I’ve seen, read, and heard has been skewed by one source or another. There are very few reliable, unbiased places to go for such a heated election. The candidates themselves certainly aren’t reliable: both want their views to get across, and they do so by casting their opponent in a negative light.  My question to both candidates is this: what are you really going to do? Stop talking about what you’re not going to do and give me some concrete ideas of what you are going to do. No matter who you’re voting for, I feel like we can all agree on one thing – this country needs change. Our economy is spiraling downwards. Education and healthcare are a mess. America has a million reasons and the resources to be an incredible country, and yet we are lackluster compared to many others.  A decent campaign ad should address these issues, clearly and honestly. I know that we should expects some skewing of the facts – in a race, we all want to be the winner, and our presidential candidates are no different. They pull ahead by spinning what they believe as best they can. But honestly, I’d think this race would be far less close than it is if both candidates focused on their own views instead of the views of their opponent. I’d love to know the solid plans that either one of them has to reform our health care system. I think it would be great to see what their plans are for public education. But the way things are going now, I barely know what either candidate plans on doing for any problem we face. Oh, other than that, it won’t be what their opponent is doing. If both candidates focused on their own views instead of just condemning the views of the other, their own platforms would be much stronger. It’s undeniable: – half of the undecided voters are undecided simply because they don’t see what either candidate offers over the other one. It’s too late for the current election to be changed by a new wave of positive campaign ads, but let’s hope that the next one isn’t so negative. So good luck to whichever candidate you’re voting for tomorrow. Any hopes I can just hide under a rock until it’s over and the winner is decided, just to avoid the Election Day wave of nastiness? Yeah, I didn’t think so.