Dear Candidate …

Political campaign ads do not have to be nasty, crude, cruel, vicious, and ugly. They do not have to be attack ads.  More and more, however, that is exactly what they are.  I do not watch television, so I am spared the worst of it and see only what flits across my radar on the internet, which is bad enough.  Take, for example, this one …

Disgusting, isn’t it?  But it seems to me that in general, candidates are making a huge mistake, because they are not focusing on themselves, rather are focusing on putting down their opponents.  This is pointless.  So, I composed the following letter:

Dear 2018 Candidate,

I sit here, some six months before the November mid-term elections, and I am assessing the candidates, not only in my own state/district, but across the nation.  In attempting this exercise, I find it very difficult to like you, and thus will almost certainly find it difficult to vote for you in November.  Please listen to what I have to say, for I believe that I speak for the majority of We The People.  You remember us, right?  We are the ones whose votes you need and to whom you will be held accountable if you should be elected, just in case you have already forgotten.

Don’t tell me why I should not like your opponent, tell me instead why I should like you!  And I don’t mean that you should be wearing a butt-ugly shirt made from a U.S. flag, for that is a turn-off in itself.  And I don’t mean that you should have a gun strapped to your belt … another definite turn-off.  You will not impress me with tough talk, or by riding your horse into town. And you do not need to raise your voice!  Yes, I am hard of hearing, but I have closed-captioning on all my devices, so I can know what you are saying without you screeching like a banshee.

Now, what would I like to hear from you?  I would like to hear your views on the issues facing the nation today:  gun regulation, immigration, taxes, education, foreign policy, poverty, health care, the economy, and a number of others.  I would like you to use your words, as we tell our children, to help me understand what your platform is.  My vote, either for or against you, will be based on how closely your views match my own, and if you don’t use your face time to put forth your views, I cannot know what you think, thus I cannot and will not vote for you.

When your entire campaign is based on criticizing your opponent(s), it indicates to me that you do not have a very strong platform, or perhaps have no platform at all.  Perhaps, rather than spend your time trying to dig up ‘dirt’ on your opponent, you should spend that time thinking about how you would improve our public schools, how you would vote on a health care bill that cut funding for children living in poverty, or how you would consider a tax bill that benefits mainly the already-wealthy.  These are the things I care about.

I also care about your own values.  I am interested in knowing where all this money you are spending on television ads is coming from.  Are you beholden to the NRA?  To the fossil fuel industry?  Are you likely to be vulnerable to blackmail for a string of past sexual affairs?  Or worse yet, are you likely to be accused by women (or men) of sexual harassment?  If you answered yes to any of these questions, you should just go home now, for you are not fit to sit in the Capitol. 

If you only want the votes of those who are not well-educated enough or politically savvy enough to understand a political agenda, then you are on the right path.  But if you want the votes of the thinkers, the people who understand how government works, who have read the U.S. Constitution, then you need to change your ways.  If you believe – honestly believe – that you can make a difference, that you can do some good for this nation, then please do us all a favour and set on a path to prove it.  Design serious ads, don’t mention your opposition, tell us who you are, how you think, and why you believe you are qualified for this job.

This is my advice … take it or leave it.  But be advised that I will not vote for you if the focus of your campaign is putting down another candidate.  I will not vote for you unless I have a good feeling about who you are and what you stand for.  And not only will I not vote for you, but I will do my best to discourage others from voting for you as well.

Good luck.

During the 2016 presidential election, I did have a television in my bedroom, and I turned it on first thing every morning, as soon as I got my glasses on so I could find the remote.  By the time I got dressed and made it downstairs for my coffee, I was already outraged by the inanity of the political ads on both sides of the fence.  I thought it was about time somebody tells these people that mud-slinging is not savvy campaigning.  Your thoughts?

32 thoughts on “Dear Candidate …

  1. Dear Jill,

    I am saying the very same thing to democrats. We who keep up with the news want more than being anti-trump. I n my area, I want to know if the candidate is for improving public transportation in Tampa; wants to raise teachers’ salaries as FL is at the bottom few states in paying them; is for sensible gun control that includes banning guns like the AR15 rifles; is for Medicaid expansion; is for equal pay; increasing minimum wage rates; is for developing infrastructure to better mitigate against future extreme weather conditions, etc.

    There is no way that just opposing another candidate will have someone earn my vote.This is the way to prevent the former FL governor from becoming the next US Senator from Florida.

    Hugs, Gronda

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, this is a problem that is on both sides, and it is so counter-productive. How can we possibly vote wisely if all we hear from the candidates is how bad their opponent is, or how they will condemn immigrants, the poor, and the opposite party? Politics has always been a dirty game, but in the past decade or so, it has become inexcusably filthy.


      Liked by 1 person

  2. Just to get a bit ahead of you today, Jill, I woke up to the Diabolical Theatricist trumpeting his own horn over saving three Americans from the North Korean penal system. I have some questions I would like answered:
    1. How many Americans are currently in NK prisons? How many of those are political prisoners? How many foreign nationals are in NK prisons? How many of those are political prisoners?
    2. Who are these three prisoners that were released? Are they poor people, middle class, or part of the American elite? What were their “crimes”? What were their sentences? Why were they chosen for release over those who were not chosen?
    3. What did the Orange Trumphole give up in order to get these three people released? Was it a “good faith” showing from Kim, or was it a trade, or what. Was money involved in the negotiation? We’re arms involved in any way in the negotiation?
    4. Who approached who to start this negotiation? Was the US negotiator the acter, or the reacter? Was there any other country involved in this negotiation? Who, and what part did they play?

    These are just some of the questions that come to mind? I know DT desperately needed some good press, but who is this news really good for?

    As for this post I am hijacking, you bring up a lot of valid observations, but don’t hold your breath waiting for dyed-in-the-wool repubes to stop the negative campaigning. If they say something enough times, people will start to believe it, even obvious fake news. The saddest part is if you don’t fight insults with insults, you are going to lose more often than not. The good thing is, the popularity voters might remember the names of the insulted more than the name of the insulter. So this can go either way.
    But keep on fighting, Jill, you have a great way with words.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I have many of those same questions, and am still digging for answers, but I will be doing a post, trying to answer as best I can, sometime between now and Sunday. All indications are that those were the only three remaining U.S. prisoners in North Korea. At first I was skeptical, but then I started thinking it may be right, for N. Korea is not exactly the top vacation hot spot for U.S. tourists. One answer I am very interested in is whether they were truly wrongly accused, or whether they may have actually been engaged in a bit of spying. It appears that Dumbo Tripod (okay, I’m not as good at this as you are) had little, if anything, to do with it all, and the only one who deserves kudos is actually Kim Jong-un. Stay tuned …

      You are so right, that slinging the mudballs back is more effective than running a clean campaign. Why? I give 95% or the credit to social media who has provided the platform for political parties to spoon-feed opinions to the masses so that nobody needs to think for themselves any more!!! Isn’t it wonderful? Now they can spend their time playing Farmville and watching Duck Dynasty instead of having to research, read and think. Sigh.


  3. Mud-slinging is far too easy IMO. Yet so many ordinary people who do not investigate matters for themselves. The ones that can’r be bothered, or far too busy for that stuff; are swayed by it, I suppose? I stopped listening to party political broadcasts a long time ago. I think was Graham Chapman in “Life of Brian”, that put it well. “I am not the messiah. You have to think for yourselves”. All the while his audience, intones it back at him … way to go on that thinking for yourself; business. One group with his shoe, the other with a gourd. Very funny! As too Butch Kemp…?

    Liked by 2 people

    • You are right … mud-slinging is easier and probably more fun than actually working out actual policies and ideologies. Since the advent and increasing popularity of social media, the masses find it easier and more fun to have their opinions fed to them via annoying memes, which makes the candidates’ job even easier, for all he really needs to do is make some ads and memes telling the un-thinkers on Facebook how bad his opponent is (count the “Lock her up” memes from 2016!!!) and how tough he is on immigration/protecting 2nd amendment/creating jobs, etc., etc., etc. Thus, the potential voter doesn’t need to waste his/her time researching history and voting records, studying platforms, of reading, and they are free to return to either playing Farmville or watching Duck Dynasty re-runs!


  4. Don’t tell me why I should not like your opponent, tell me instead why I should like you!

    Exactly! People already think poorly of politicians. Give us the good things to support! How are you, Mr. political candidate, going to be better?

    Liked by 1 person

    • The problem, I think, is that the ‘loud & obnoxious’ method has worked so well in the past. Look at the campaign Trump ran. His rallies, his ads, all focused on loudly and crudely putting down Hillary Clinton. He screeched and yelled and turned red in the face, and a lot of people lapped it up and cheered as loudly as they could. Then they went and voted for him. Sigh. It’s a sad statement of society that so many people care more about the quantity than the quality.

      Liked by 3 people

  5. Jill, I have voted against people for the nastiness of campaign ads. Right now, if someone is trying to “out-Trump Trump” by being vulgar, unaware and uncivil, I will not consider voting for them. It is OK to speak of solutions to issues that I may not agree with, but don’t oversimplify problems, promote fear, lie, demean and condemn. I disagree with Lindsey Graham on a number of issues, but he is at least speaking as a civil servant leader as opposed to an egomaniacal and dishonorable man. Keith

    Liked by 3 people

    • I feel exactly the same, my friend. But … you do realize we may be scratching our heads on the morning of November 6th, left with not a single candidate who ran a campaign with any degree of integrity. I agree with you on Lindsey Graham, and I feel the same about John McCain … I often disagree with his views, but have enormous respect for his integrity.

      Liked by 3 people

    • Quite so … those who are campaigning on a single issue, such as the 2nd Amendment or abortion, will not be bothered to even attempt to appeal to the general public, for they know their target audience and that is all they care about. And unfortunately, it seems there is a large portion of the voting public who are swayed by the negativity, the ‘special effects’, the screeching and chants, and those seem to care not at all about the integrity or the ideology of the candidate. So yeah, I’m probably spitting in the wind, but …
      Cwtch Mawr

      Liked by 2 people

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