Oh no! Negative campaigning is bad!

I’m getting mighty tired of the press lazily trotting out the same damned stories every two years like clockwork. You know the ones:

1. Surprise that negative campaigning has emerged in a campaign
2. Articles about how somehow we’ve reached a new low in negativity and nastiness
3. Articles about how much “regular voters” hate negative campaigning and will probably stay home.

I would love to have the kind of job where I just trot out a story I wrote 12 years ago, dress it up in a different sweater, and send for the copy boy. That’s some kinda cool gig, imo.

Regardless, let’s talk about negative campaigning for a moment. First, we need to define what it “positive” v. “negative” campaigning means: Positive campaigning is talking about your own record, your experience, your own values, and what you would do if the voters elected YOU. Negative campaigning is talking about your opponents record, experience, values and what to expect from THEM should the voters be dumb enough to elect them.

Riddle me this: How does the press expect a candidate to get elected if he doesn’t give the voters a reason to either fire or not hire the opponent?

I’m not talking about slurs or lies about your opponent — those are bad. But those aren’t negative campaigning; they’re slurs or lies.

One of the reasons Phil Angelides is getting his ass kicked here in California is that he hasn’t done two distinct things: He hasn’t given most people a reason to vote for him, and he certainly hasn’t given most people a real reason to fire Arnold. I would argue that it’s actually more important to do the latter than the former, since I think we can all assume what Mr. Phil would do once elected — all we have to do is remember the Gray Davis years, only with less excitement.

Anyhow, please, MSM, stop whining about the evils of “negative campaigning” — it’s a necessary and required part of the electoral process — one that wouldn’t necessarily be that important if the damned press would stop writing the same tired articles every two years and actually delve into the records, experience, and values of the candidates.

What a concept.

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