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Our View: Focus on advocacy in campaigns, not fear

Posted: February 5, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: February 5, 2012 2:00 a.m.

Try something new this time around for races for City Council, state Assembly, Congress and even president: Don’t let negativity dictate your vote.

Candidates pander to fear and anger because they instill a much more reactionary and visceral response than happiness or contentment.

Candidate A says one thing; Candidate B twists it 180 degrees to use it against his or her opponent; and Average Joe voter buys into the negativity without fully knowing the truth about either side.

The voting process has transformed from voters believing in a candidate for his or her leadership abilities to simply being scared away from his or her opponent. Candidates rely on dragging their competition through the mud, not realizing that they dirty themselves in the process. But how far can we lower the bar before we hit rock bottom?

There’s no more straight talk anymore, no more unfiltered honesty and, unsurprisingly, not much trust to be found from voters.

Take the time this year to do research on candidates and issues from the national to the local races. Don’t rely on unaccredited sources and anonymous attacks being launched behind cover to inform you about the important issues.

As voters, we need to take into account where information comes from. We need to step outside of our comfort zone and listen to some new perspectives from people or sources we wouldn’t normally go to.

Seeking out the facts isn’t always a quick process, but it is a necessary one and something we believe the voting public has an obligation to do. Likewise, we are critical of those who would twist the facts to confuse the public and swing votes.

There’s too much division in our country because people isolate themselves from new information and let projected fear dictate how they vote.

Much of the cynicism among the voting public, we believe, is because of the way political handlers and spinners present their candidates to the voting public. It has become a big game — and we are all losers in this one.

There are no real issues anymore, just political sideshows and personal attacks that masquerade as campaigning.

At The Signal, we try to sort through all this chaos and present the issues and candidates in a fair and intelligent manner.

The clutter can become excessive at times.

Ultimately, voters are the ones who must decide which candidates have talked sufficiently about the issues and have told us how they will address problems in their areas.

If democracy in our country were to be judged solely on the integrity of our politicians, handlers and campaigns, we must ask ourselves, would the ratings rest anywhere near the historically low near-single-digit approval ratings Americans are giving Congress today?

This year, vote for the candidates and issues you actually support, not just the ones you hate the least.


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