And the Winner Is…

 Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse                                                                                                                            Philippians 4:8 (The Message)

Are you liking the election ads so far? Yeah, me neither.

Indulge me here, dear readers, as I rant about negativity in campaigning. You see, I am tired of candidates who trash the opposition, as opposed to the alternative of laying out the reasons we should vote for them. Negative campaigning has been with us forever.

I don’t care for it.

According to the ads, when the 2020 elections are over on November 3, the country will have elected a President who is an uncaring incompetent, or we will have elected a man with terrible judgement whose intent is to tax us back to the stone age. Other prospective elected officials, purportedly, will be equally incompetent, evil, or damaged individuals not fit to govern.

These bleak choices are set forth to us by the candidates themselves as they try to tear down their opponents. Overdrawn character assassination is, evidently, the only tool in the bag for the current politicians. Truth is lost in all the ads, with no context given to support the wild accusations set forward.

We as voters, after we put one of these individuals into office, are then expected to respect that person who has been eviscerated in this election process. Negative campaigns are not new, by any means, but I have taken the position that the candidate who spews forth the most negative vitriol is the least qualified for the office. If he/she were so qualified- such a fine candidate- he/she would extol their own career accomplishments, set forth a plan to improve our society and let obvious merits shine out. Yes, this is idealistic, and perhaps naïve. But honestly, isn’t that what you want too?

Again, our history is replete with negativity in campaigning, but now, with media and social platforms so ubiquitous, the mud becomes overwhelming.

I saw a refreshing ad by the candidates for governor of Utah where both candidates refused to jump into the mud and tarnish the opponent. It was a joint ad, and I was very encouraged. Too bad this is an outlier, and not close to the current norm.

Such is the current landscape that we live in now in 2020. We suffer from campaigning which is always a race to the bottom. The campaign strategy is to spew the wildest, worst trash on his/her opponent. Maybe the public will take the path of least resistance and rely upon what they see in those ads. If that is the case, as the old saying goes “we get the government that we deserve”.

Come next Tuesday night, or maybe Wednesday morning, we will have “winners” in each of these offices. However, the winner is probably not the American public.

Prayer: Lord, give us wisdom as we choose, and grace in all that we say, Amen.

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