Thus begins the spam and negative email blasts for the Presidential race of 2008. For far too long there has been an emphasis on negative television ads and smear campaigns in politics. For elections of every level, politicians have de-evolved to telling the public what is wrong with this candidate or that one. More money and time are spent in advertising the problems voters should be aware of, than the actual platforms and issues that voters care about.
For a time the hope was that the internet could change that. Many thought it would be the chance to get better answers than the now common 30 second soundbite. Politicians would have to pay attention to the people, and people could find what politicians have said and voted in the past on issues that matter to them. The public would be involved again.
Then I see a report like the one at Marketing Pilgrim and the wind leaves my sails. With months to go before the primaries, already 83% of the Presidential candidates have negative search results.
“Republican candidates managed only an average 42% positive sentiment search results, with Democratic candidates not fairing much better (45%).
Of those candidates with the most name recognition, only Barack Obama achieved zero negative sentiment results.”
Do we really need more spam, smear campaigns and jaded comments? It’s one thing to put out facts, another to just be negative for the sake of making a candidate look bad.
Every candidate has issues. None of them have a universal appeal, with the perfect position on every subject that all voters can agree upon. It can’t be expected. But having clear positions on issues isn’t a lot to ask for.
I don’t expect a parade of positive, yes-man, websites. But not seeing a slew of skewed views would be nice as well. You can point out a flip-flop a Presidential candidate has made without tearing them down. You can show a voting record, or YouTube coverage of comments that seem to conflict current campaign rhetoric without including bile.
I am no less perfect than anyone else. I get as heated on issues that matter to me as anyone else. I have written posts that take on a candidate harshly for comments or positions I feel cross the line. Then again I try to comment on all the candidates, and I try to support all my positions on them. When I lose my cool I try to note that as well.
Continued in part 2…