Negative vs. Positive
As the elections and politicians get geared up for the next significant round of campaigning we’re bombarded from every source possible with information. Most of the information is not about what each candidate had accomplished in life, or what they intend to do in office. Most of the information is negative and not always based in fact.
The primary reason we get so much negative information about candidates is that it has an impact on our opinions. We are not as strong at listening and understanding as we should be. Many political ads are intended to move our opinions in a directed with less than complete facts.
Negative advertising will have an impact on voter’s opinions. Part of the problem is that we tend to believe what we read in the newspaper, hear on the radio or TV or see on the internet. Just because it’s out there, doesn’t mean it true. Our listening and reading comprehension skills are not as strong as they should be. What’s presented may be intended to move our opinion and may not be as true as it should be.
All this is our fault, as a group the American Voter isn’t as committed to our opinions and our beliefs as we should be. We fail to expect our candidates to focus on what they’ll do, how they’ll solve our problems, or what we can expect from them in office.
When a candidate with character and integrity stands in front of the voters and says, “I will do this” or “I won’t do that” voters don’t cling to that candidate and commit our opinion to that candidate until we get to vote.
We’re too fickle, our standards are too low. We allow ourselves to let our opinions sway based on the most recent shiny object waved in front of us. The shiny object has more impact on our opinion than the history and statements of the candidate. That’s our first mistake, we let the candidates speak. Once they start moving their lips we’re in trouble.
When they start swearing that they’ll do this or not do that, and it conflicts with their entire life, we’re too willing to believe them. When we see or hear negative ads from sources not obviously from the opposing candidate, we still pay attention and let those ads affect our opinion of the candidates.
One of the problems with candidates is money. Money is shoveled at candidates by organizations who have a vested interest in which candidate gets elected. After the election candidates tend to pay attention to those who shoveled money at the candidate when they needed the money to get elected more than they pay attention to the voters. The voter who is represented by the elected person takes a back seat to the organization with the shovels and the cash.
Money talks because we let it talk. We let our vote go to the candidate who held the shiniest object in front of us and not to the candidate who stood tall and told us what they would or would not do in office. We let ourselves get moved by the flash and glitz instead of the substance.
I want a candidate who has a purpose and makes a commitment to the voter. Most candidates will be flawed in one way or another. Mother Teresa is not on the ballot, stop looking for her. The candidates who’ll run for office will not be the most successful at whatever they did before they ran for office.
The process is so ugly and so public it turns the stomachs of the best and the brightest. The candidates we need won’t run because we’ve let the process become as nasty as it is. Those who run for office are not the best suited for the job, but they’re willing to do the job. We have to choose the best from this bunch.
We all have to listen better and read the words in front of us and analyze exactly what’s there. We have to determine what the candidate will do and won’t do. We can’t let the elected official forget about those of us who they represent. The organizations and groups that spend the money to buy the office, and they did buy the office, has to take a back seat to the voter.
Voters matter more than special interests. Elected officials must answer to the voters not to the money used to get them elected. We have to keep in contact with our elected representatives and keep them accountable to us. Our votes count more than the money they get to get elected.