Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Oh, Christmas Feud... and the effects of Negative Campaigning

As I have said in previous posts, there is little time to make big gains in Iowa and the other early states. The front-loading of the process has made Christmas time the prime time to campaign... however, it is the one time of the year that the Iowans are not interested in campaigns... they have made up their minds... or they just want to be left alone for the time being.

So why has the campaign of Romney released two new ads attacking Huckabee, to be aired during the campaigning cease-fire? And how does that make the people of Iowa view him?

Mike Huckabee also released an ad to be aired in the early states over the Christmas cease-fire. How might this ad make voters view him?

When it comes down to it, I have to ask myself which candidate is acting more presidential, taking the higher road, and trying to better define himself instead of running negative ads against someone else. When it comes down to judgement, who is making the better choice? Think of what Christmas means to you, and then imagine sitting down to watch a re-run of "The Christmas Story" with your family... Then both of these ads pop up during a commercial break... which one do you want to share with your family? Which one makes you listen, and say, "Oh... thanks for the Christmas message".

And now, the effects of Negative Campaigning... I will keep this short...

For starters, There has been one candidate who has consistently used negative advertising in their campaign. I am not going to name names, I will let you figure that out. So what does that tell you about the candidate? Perhaps it implies that their record or message is not strong enough to support itself, so they must try to tear down the other campaigns.

But what else does it do? It puts hate into the heart of that candidates supporters. They begin attacking, sometimes viciously, the other candidates. It invokes negative emotions, and the people are left to act on these sometimes strong emotions... It destroys the base support, and distracts from the candidates ability to distinguish themselves in a positive light.

It also should be noted that this is the Primary season... this is not the time to be filling the hearts of the party's base with hate and anger in an attempt to build up one candidate over another. Once the primary season is over, and the negative candidate has lost (for example), their supporters are so angry at the other candidates that they refuse to be part of the party, and they refuse to vote, refuse to support the party and vote third party, or worse: they support the opposing party just out of spite.

Negative campaigning is a poison, and we have a personal responsibility to insist that candidates maintain campaigns that stick to the moral high ground. We don't need politics as usual... we complain about it year after year. So do something about it, and demand that the candidates STOP negative ads, stop negative campaigns, and run on their merits and records.

What are your thoughts?

1 comment:

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