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Election campaign woes

Roth is a first-year philosophy and physics double major and can be reached at matthew.roth@drake.edu

The presidential race for 2012 will be one for the history books.  This campaign has had the most money invested into it to date.  Most of the money flowing from sponsors and super Political Action Committees (PACs) goes to advertisements that are made by both sides. However, this election focused more on smearing your opponent rather than spelling out the truth.

This campaign set the record for expenses and for the amount of negative ads. I know you all have seen them, on TV, YouTube and even memes. Everywhere you look, there is a negative ad bending a small basis of the truth. Both candidates have even recognized that the negative campaigning is getting out of hand.  All you know about a candidate is what the negative ads are saying. Not only is this damaging to the understanding voters have, but also to the candidates themselves.  Many people agree that the amount of ads is out of line, and they are beginning to hurt the credibility of both candidates. If all you hear is the blown-out-of-proportion truth, how will a person even know a candidate’s stance on a certain issue? The fact is that if that person doesn’t actively research a candidate, then that person will know little to nothing on that candidate’s stance. That is what negative campaigning is doing to the average voter — simply grinding down their political awareness with unfounded ads.

This campaign should be used as a lesson for candidates in future races. Negative ads can be useful to a certain degree, but when that is all you use to campaign with, you hamper the voting process. This year’s election was a circus. Ads should educate a voter on the issue, not attack the other guy.


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