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Opinion

Negative ads rule airwaves

November 10, 2006

After listening to campaign ads that seems to only attack other candidates instead of promoting their issues and values for the past couple months, I, like many other people, am extremely happy to say that it is finally over.

There used to be a day when politicians created positive campaigns that did not send negative messages about their opponents. But this year seemed to be the campaign year with the most negative and attacking ads in history. Politicians focused on the negative aspects of their opponents instead of the ideas and goals for their own campaigns.

As voters in Wisconsin, Minnesota and throughout the country try to unscramble the messages sent through the media to find a candidate that best suits their beliefs, they also need to pay attention and learn how to decipher fact from fiction.

It seems like the only way to get into office is to see who the best opponent basher is, who can come up with the most attacking ad, or who has the best sources to create a message that twists others’ words into something so far from the truth.

I couldn’t help but hear about the frustrations some people had with all of the
ads. While I was visiting my parents this weekend, my dad muted the TV every time an ad came on because he was “so fed up with that crap.” No matter how neutral I would have liked to remain and not say anything, I couldn’t help but agree with him.

Isn’t the process of running for office supposed to include politicians talking about their campaign issues and how they will make changes -- not just saying, “I will lower taxes,” but what process they will take to do so -- and improvements to society? Not about how their opponent is so horrible and so incredibly untrustworthy that the country will go down the drain.

Then, as these vicious politicians work their campaigns, they want the young people to get out and vote on issues that don’t directly relate to them in any way whatsoever. I’m sure many would agree that they would be more apt to get out to the polls and vote if the issues actually concerned them somehow. But as for now, young people are forced to vote on Social Security and Medicare -- things that have no effect at the present time.

Maybe at the next election in 2008, politicians will realize that their scare tactics aren’t necessarily the best way to go about campaigning.

They should notice that people want results, and to receive votes they need to talk about their issues and goals instead of trying to ruin their opponents’ reputations and campaigns.

Citizens do care about who gets into office, as long as they see positive results. For now, it will be a nice break from seeing attacks every time a commercial comes onto the TV.

Sara Hauer is a student at UW-River Falls.