Garner: Opinion

Editorial: A tiring barrage of negativity

This might be like spitting in the wind, but we’ll say this for candidates everywhere to hear: Quit telling us how bad your opponent is and start telling us why you’re so good.

Political campaigns have become an exercise in reaching the sleaziest levels possible. Good dirt on an opponent is deemed much more valuable that touting one’s own admirable qualities.

That’s not what taxpayers and voters want from their elected leaders. And, yet, that’s the best they can give us.

The strategy is no longer reserved for candidates running for the nation’s highest offices such as president or the U.S. Senate. Instead, it has seeped into state House and Senate races and, yes, county commissioner and school board races.

Voters are left to choose from among the least evil of the candidates on the ballot. We’re not sure, quite frankly, why anyone would want to be viewed as the “least evil” choice.

But candidates seem willing to prostrate themselves to whatever level their advisors encourage them just to achieve their goals. It makes us question the personal ethics of any candidate who chooses to pound away at their opponent without giving voters even the slimmest of peeks into their own record and skills.

So here’s the message for candidates: Stop. Tell your advisors you’re better than that. Tell the un-connected third parties that you will rail against their tactics and disparage them if they choose to attack your opponent mercilessly.

There. It’s been said.

Chances are no candidate for any office above the level of dog catcher will heed that advice, but at least the candidate can read what most voters – who wouldn’t say this to their faces – are thinking about a typical North Carolina campaign season.