News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion


Candidates leave voters wishing for a better way

Congratulations, candidates, you've done a bang-up job of sending voters to the polls Tuesday with heavy hearts. What a terrible way to conduct the most basic exercise in a democracy!

What did you do? You know, you allowed your paid consultants — the political offsprings of the Richard Nixon era's Donald H. Segretti and his dirty tricks — to look you in the eye and say, "If you want to win, you've got to go negative."

You are in the race to win, so many of you rationalized taking this sleazy advice is OK under the circumstances and you trashed your opponent.

Those of you who say you "didn't start it," jumped in with your own mudslinging, starting with the governor's race and going down the line to the local races.

What happened to the wholesome personalities we've grown up with, the people we know to be good, honorable people? How could you have gone so sour so quickly? Reputations are supposed to be worth something, aren't they?

Why don't you take back your campaigns next time, fire the expensive, win-at-all-costs political advisers and then tell the whole truth about your opponent? Better still, why not tell us why you are the better candidate to help hold democracy together and to help it thrive?

We will go vote Tuesday, but many of us will do so wishing there was a third candidate on the ballot in some races who shot straight with us during the campaign. If we believe the attack ads, then neither candidate in some races is fit to serve and that, too, starts with the governor's race.

We hope attack ads are turning off voters.

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