A plea for civility
October 19, 2010
I’m shocked at how campaigns for political office have descended into mean-spirited nastiness. We are being given, ad nausea, reasons to elect a particular candidate not on how worthy he or she is but on how “bad” they’ve made their opponent out to be. Is this really how democracy works in a civilized country?
This is happening even in our own small community, and, as a voter, I would like to offer some feedback to those perpetrating this. A mean-spirited, nasty commentary is being circulated right now against Jack Johnson, who is running against Rob Ittner for county commissioner. They are both good men, but the effect of these smear tactics on me and my choice of whom I’ll vote for is to lean toward the candidate being maligned rather than the candidate who may be behind the insinuations and attacks, though Rob Ittner denies any involvement and the writers say they are simply doing it as editorial content.
For me, character, intelligence and integrity are some of what I look for in a candidate, not malice and spite, and just the fact that the writers are doing this against Jack Johnson and for Rob Ittner makes me gravitate toward Jack, though there are many other positive reasons that I will be voting for him. I believe he is the best man for the job on many fronts.
The column against Jack is written by two women who are intelligent and have a lot to offer; how good it would be to see them use their talents in positive ways: building up rather than tearing down.
Let’s get beyond this mean-spiritedness in politics. Let’s return to civilized interchanges between candidates, with each putting forward his or her beliefs as to what would be best for the community so that we might choose the finest candidate rather than the least bad.
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The country seems stalled in a quagmire, with both sides shouting at each other and we the people left baffled on the sidelines. Starting with our own community, let’s turn this around and be civilized to and about each other so that we can move forward together in the spirit of what’s best for us all.