Originally Published: August 3, 2017 6 a.m.
It doesn’t take an advanced degree in political science to understand politicians. They stick with what works, and they’ll keep sticking with it until it’s no longer working.
We have all witnessed the decline of political discourse in this nation over the past few decades. For the most part, it was limited to the national level. But lately we see an increase in the dirty tactics used there on the local level.
A mailing went out to many homes with negative information about one of the candidates. It was funded with dark money, meaning while there is a name on the publication that passes legal requirements, good luck finding out who actually sent it out and how it is responsible.
It doesn’t matter that the information presented is taken out of context and incomplete, leaving readers to draw incorrect conclusions.
Tactics like these work, so they will continue to be used in politics.
It’s the voters who need to say “enough.”
As we’ve seen, it is very easy to put out false information and let it spread online. Truth and facts no longer matter. All that matters is who is willing to crawl into the mud and get dirty.
We don’t, and probably never will find out, if one of the other two mayoral candidates is behind the mailing. But even if they are innocent, and condemn it with the strongest of voices, they are both tainted by this, since Dark Money allows the true culprit to stay hidden.
These negative political tactics are not going to go away, and as long as they are effective, will likely increase.
So what can we do? Ignore all negative attacks; don’t allow them to influence you in the slightest. Consider any you hear as something that was probably made up by someone trying to manipulate you.
Get angry. Prove you’re too intelligent to allow anyone to manipulate you into voting the way they want. Do the research, attend the candidate forums. Find candidates that give you a reason to vote for them. And don’t ever vote for someone because you’re against someone/something else.
Our political discourse will not improve until we the people demand it. When the mudslinging, and phony Facebook posts dreamt up in some political consultants’ heads no longer are effective, then they will end.
But more important than that, don’t you want to vote for people who inspire you, who have a vision that excites you, who give you a reason to vote for them?
Wouldn’t that be better than voting for someone because you heard such-and-such rumor about the other guy/gal that may or may not be true but just in case …
Nonsense such as that needs to stop, and it’s up to each of us to make sure it’s ineffective so that it will.