Reporting with Hills Pride

The Trailblazer

Reporting with Hills Pride

The Trailblazer

Reporting with Hills Pride

The Trailblazer

    The Art of Mudslinging: Why the 2012 Presidential Candidates should own Ponchos

    I do not consider myself a politics buff by any means, but I know a problem when I see one.

    The problem I am referring to is the overwhelming amount of political mudslinging going on during the early 2012 presidential campaign. This is not something new. In fact, this type of behavior even stretches back to the start of our country. [It should be noted that while I am focusing on political mudslinging, this occurs across all public forums.]

    First off, what is mudslinging? The dictionary refers to it as, “the use of insults and accusations, especially unjust ones, with the aim of damaging the reputation of an opponent.” Does this seem like the kind of behavior you want to see from the leader, or potential leader of our nation?  I know that I do not want my leader engaging in this behavior.

    I understand that sometimes it is necessary to generate some negative publicity towards your opponent in order to gain supporters, but the level to which it has grown is simply immature and irresponsible. It has gotten to the point where it is impossible to avoid these degrading campaigns, whether in a television ad, a story on the Internet, or simply word of mouth.

    The latest of these distasteful ads was put out by Republican candidate Rick Santorum, who prides himself on being a stand up guy with strong morals. Santorum, in an attempt to slow down his fellow Republican candidate and early front-runner Mitt Romney, created an ad where a man who looks like Romney fires a machine gun at a cut-out of Santorum.

    This portrayal of Mitt “Rombo,” a play on the Sylvester Stallone character “Rambo” is currently being aired across Romney’s home state of Michigan, the state that will host the next primary.

    This was not the first shot taken at, or even by Romney, as yet another Republican candidate, Newt Gingrich, has also engaged in a mud-fight with him. After Gingrich won the South Carolina primary, Romney went out and outspent Gingrich 15:1 on ads that played across the state of Florida. Seventy percent of those ads were negative, and directed at Gingrich.

    Romney ended up winning the state’s primary with almost half of the votes, a large number for a primary. Gingrich, being a modern-day politician, obviously responded to Romney’s campaign with his own negativity, and hurled some mud of his own. One of Gingrich’s ads claimed that Romney had denied kosher food to Jewish medical patients as governor of Massachusetts, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

    Time and time again, these three Republican candidates continue to attack each other, spending way too much time with negative speeches and ads, rather than focusing on the positive things that they would bring to the table if elected. The strategy being, make the other look as bad as possible, no matter the cost, and even if it means stretching the truth or taking liberty with the facts.

    To quote the late, great Al Davis (former owner of the Oakland Raiders), “Just win baby, win.” It is that mentality that I believe is poisonous for our country. Our candidates should stop worrying about what their opponents are saying about them and how to get into office, and start worrying about what they will do to improve our country once they’re in office.

    That is the message that I believe people want to hear. I will carry that sentiment with me to the polls this November as I vote for the first time. I truly believe that staying focused on a positive message will uplift our country and return it to greatness

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