Candidates Debate Where and When Negative Attack Ads are Okay in Wake of Disaster — How About Never?

Even as the death toll rises from Hurricane Sandy’s devastating onslaught onto the east coast of the United States, the campaigns of President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney are questioning their strategies that were right ready to go into motion.  Negative attack ads are all the rage these days and have pretty much defined this presidential election.  A lot of the states that have been pummeled by Sandy are hotly contested ones, election-wise.  Both campaigns had already set up a barrage of attack ads in these states for the week running up to the election, but now they are questioning whether Americans will “tolerate” this kind of negativity in the wake of a disaster.

Tolerate.  What a funny word.  Do Americans ever “tolerate” this kind of rhetoric?  Let’s be honest.  Have attack ads ever worked?  Does anyone change their position based on such a thing?  Is it not more like a pep rally for whatever party to get excited and say “See…I told you how bad those other guys were.”

Did you guys miss something? It’s pretty easy to see.

It’s sad that politicians can’t run on their own merits instead of worrying about trying to degrade those that run against them.  Governer Christie in New Jersey today openly praised President Barack Obama for his warm response to the disaster that is unfolding in his state.  He said that right now, political affiliations don’t matter.  What a great message that we should take forward not just for dark times like these, but every day.  Every day should be a day when the two political parties that claim dominance in our nation work together, sometimes praising each other, sometimes acknowledging that not everyone is right and not everyone is wrong.  But even as Christie lays down this praise, himself an ardent supporter of the Republican Party and Mitt Romney, we have to hear about how the candidates are wondering when they can go back to launching attacks against each other, wasting money when they could be trying to spread a positive message, like what the hell do either of them want to do for the country, instead of focusing in on dragging down the other.

No matter who wins this election, it doesn’t mean that the other half was wrong or right.  This is the UNITED States of America, not the DIVIDED States of America.  Sometimes a tragedy like this can help us see the error of our ways.  It’s funny how the government can suddenly see eye to eye when all the chips are on the table.  Why can’t we take that reality, a terrible one at this moment, and make it everyday?  Why can’t we work together for the common good when there is not an unprecedented storm battering our landscape?

Remember that word, tolerate.  Maybe that’s the problem.  Maybe Americans do “tolerate” this garbage.  Maybe we’ve “tolerated” it too long.

Who will fire the first shot in the wake of Hurricane Sandy and signal that Washington and politics are back to “business as usual?”

How about no one?  How about a real change, like President Obama ran his first campaign on so prominently (and successfully)?

Ever heard that silly little saying?  “If you don’t have anything good to say, don’t say anything at all.”

If Mitt Romney or Barack Obama spent half as much time touting their own plans and feelings, maybe they could really reach some people.  Maybe Americans would tolerate a real message a lot better than jumbled-up, misrepresented facts that in the end accomplish nothing but furthering the divide that already exists between the two political parties, and from there, the American people.

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