If only politics were as clean and crisp as the autumn air that is upon us. It’s that time of year again. Billboard ads, incessant phone calls, vicious TV ads, fliers, mailers, emails, there is no escape from the latest political campaigns. Though every year brings new candidates, the game never seems to change. Political campaigns have almost become equivalent to an elementary schoolyard brawl. The key difference being that the elementary students involved are thought to not know any better. I find it interesting how adults so quickly resort to childlike behavior when “victory” is on the line. I understand that each candidate has invested a great deal into their campaign and victory means a great career jump, but what is the true cost of victory? Are we to compromise our morals, character, integrity, and beliefs to become successful in this life? What type of example does that set for future generations? What good does it do our society to instill values in our children when society simultaneously sends out the message that when you’re all grown up it’s okay to forget everything you’ve been taught and do whatever it takes to get ahead? Instead of “digging up the dirt” on fellow candidates and pointing out their many flaws and mistakes, it would be far better to positively share your intentions, cause, and objectives. As a representative of the upcoming generation, watching the tv ads and hearing all the “mud-slinging” is a complete turn-off and acts as a major discouragement from voting at all. Why would we want to choose the lesser of two evils? More often than not we lose interest in listening to the issues because the issues are rarely discussed in truth. Everything gets so confusing because you can no longer distinguish what candidates are trying to do versus the skeletons in their closets. Our generation is very keen on who gains our ear and our trust. The majority of us feel that if there is a worthy cause that makes sense, we are highly likely to join and support that cause with all we have, but the moment personal agenda and special interests enter the picture we very quickly look the other way.
I take pride in the freedom we have been given in our privilege to vote. I believe that being able to have a say in what our nation looks like is very important. I also have to admit to refusing to vote at times because it seems like regardless of who wins, all that I was in support of has been lost. It seems rare when the victorious candidate actually follows through on the original agenda presented in their campaigns. I know what it feels like to stick out like a sore thumb and know it is not fun to endure the attention that it brings, but perhaps the winds of change will inspire a stronger breed of politician. I believe that if there were an honest, strong, unselfish candidate who was able to put the everyday people’s interests first, they would have the deepest respect and a significant amount of support.