Negativity defines presidential campaign

El McCabe

Negativity is a popular theme in society today. Everywhere you turn, there are news stories about traumatic events, natural disasters and even which celebrity couple recently split. For some reason, negative stories catch people’s attention, sell magazines and newspapers, and fill up time on news blocks. However, what publishing, campaigning and other companies fail to realize is that constantly immersing yourself in negativity has dangerous potential to trickle down into all aspects of your life, such as social and political involvement.

This preoccupation with negativity is a salient issue this year with the November election quickly approaching. Election strategies over the last few decades have been centered on “digging up dirt” on the opponent rather than on the actual issues–a fact turning many voters away from the polls altogether. For example, if a candidate is caught having an affair, many voters who do not respect cheaters will change their votes to his opponent or decide not to vote at all. Candidates are human beings that make mistakes like everyone else, and going back and forth ragging on one another will only create negative perceptions about the political process and voting.

Politics and the election process should be about choosing the candidate that is going to look out for the best interests of the people, not about who has the cleanest record. Just because a presidential candidate has made mistakes in his/her personal life, does not mean that he or she would make a bad president. Likewise, those with clean records may have just gotten lucky and not been caught, and due to these variables I firmly believe that the private spheres and public spheres of these candidates’ lives should be kept separate.

Unfortunately, negative publicity has already started turning the tide of the election this year and has swayed the opinions of many voters. During the process of choosing the Republican candidate for the 2012 election, many of the prospective candidates turned against each other to win the primary. This forced Republicans to choose the “least worst” of the candidates in the negative light they were portrayed in and has caused many Republicans to dislike all the options for the presidency.

Now, although it is inevitable that these politicians will continue to duke it out until November, we as voters still have the power and time to change the outcome of the election. Choosing a president blindly and out of bias will only hurt our country in the end, and we need to look past the negative. I understand it may be difficult to avoid feeling hopeless with so much negativity everywhere, but it is crucial to remember that no one is perfect and to vote along the lines of who will improve society.

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