Archived Story

Why not try results over attacks?

Published 12:00am Sunday, August 5, 2012

What would happen if politicians decided to attack the problems facing our country as vigorously as they do their opponents? How would things be if they — somewhat literally — put their money where their mouths are?

I have to think it would be a better world to live in.

Political season is just starting to heat up but candidates from both parties, in big races and small, are spending truckloads of money on political advertising that is often far more about attacking the opponent than explaining what an individual brings to the table.

If just one major politician — someone running for U.S. Senate, House of Representatives or, God forbid, even the presidential seat — would take a bold step it could be the start of a systematic change in how campaigns are operated.

Instead of running political ads I would like to see the candidate use those thousands, and in many cases millions of dollars, to make a difference in the communities of their potential constituents.

They wouldn’t need to advertise because the word-of-mouth and free publicity would be way more far-reaching than any television ad spouting off about someone’s voting record that could be interpreted a variety of ways or how awful someone else is.

With the November election still about three months away, the presidential candidates, the PACs and other interest groups have already spent just short of $270 million in advertising as of Aug. 1, according to the Washington Post.

That is just the presidential race. Add in all the other political races and the spending would be even more sickening.

How many hungry children could we feed with even a portion of that $270 million? How many sick people could we provide with potential life-saving medicine? How many communities could be helped with projects that improve the quality of life there?

This approach would be replacing a negative system with a positive one. Guess what, a whopping 74 percent of the advertisements are negative attack ads.

We lament the negativity in our communities, but what do we expect? That is the message being sent by our leaders and our entire political culture.

Obama has spent $77.9 million, with more than $46 million of that going toward negative advertising messages. Mitt Romney is no better, spending less money but a higher percentage, with $32 million of the $47 million spent going to attack the president.

Maybe I am naive, but if even one major politician would have the guts to lead by example, I think we could change the approach.

In the end, all that most politicians care about is getting — and staying — elected. If they can make a positive impact on the way to office it might help make up for the fact that most fail to do much once they get there.

 

Michael Caldwell is publisher of The Tribune. To reach him, call (740) 532-1445 ext. 24 or by e-mail at mike.caldwell@irontontribune.com. Follow him on Twitter: @MikeCaldwell_IT.

  • Noesis

    Indie: The point is that he’s created over 3.3 million jobs since Sept. 2009 and he’s had to get it done in SPITE of the republicans in congress who, as said by Mitch McConnell, had a top priority NOT of creating jobs but INSTEAD their top priority was just to defeat Obama and hold America hostage through November 6, 2012.
    ——————–

    Yeah but just think of how many jobs democrats could have created if they didn’t waste two years forcing the unpopular Obambicare down our throats and worked on creating jobs instead.

    And Indie… did you ever answer my question… You know the one about why wasn’t Mitch McConnell and other republicans punished for thwarting Obambi’s liberal agenda? If anything it was the American people who did it by electing more republicans.

    (Report comment)

  • mikehaney

    Unemployment during Bush years
    2001 5.8
    2002 5.8
    2003 6.0
    2004 5.5
    2006 4.6
    2007 4.6
    Not really hard to understand. I kept it simple for the simple minds out there.

    (Report comment)

  • mikehaney

    2007 Reid/Pelosi take over,unemployment 4.6
    2008 Obama elected,unemployment 5.8
    2009 unemployment 9.3
    2010 unemployment 9.6
    2011 unemployment 8.9(actually higher)
    ——————————–
    Bush’s fault? Yea right.

    (Report comment)

  • mikehaney

    unemployment 4.6 2007 Reid/Pelosi take over house and senate
    ” 5.8 2008

    (Report comment)

  • Noesis

    Hey Indie… remember when you were boasting about how Clinton created so many jobs?

    I think I know where a good portion of them came from:

    “Welfare Reforms Passed By President Clinton And Republicans In Congress “Reduced The Number Of People Receiving Monthly Cash Benefits From 12.2 Million To 4.2 Million.” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 3/16/12

    (Report comment)

  • Noesis

    So Noesis admits that President Obama has INDEED created over 3.3 million jobs since September 2009.
    ——————-

    What good is creating 3.3 million if you have lost more jobs than you created?

    When Obama took over, unemployment was around 7.5%, now it’s 8.3%

    That means more people than ever are unemployed… no matter how many jobs you created.

    (Report comment)

  • indieVoter

    “Except not even Obama himself, New York Times, or even the Huffingpost uses that column.”

    So Noesis admits that President Obama has INDEED created over 3.3 million jobs since September 2009.

    He can’t refute that so he want’s to quibble with what column I got the number from? Who cares??

    The point is that he’s created over 3.3 million jobs since Sept. 2009 and he’s had to get it done in SPITE of the republicans in congress who, as said by Mitch McConnell, had a top priority NOT of creating jobs but INSTEAD their top priority was just to defeat Obama and hold America hostage through November 6, 2012.

    (Report comment)

  • indieVoter

    Here’s one for the poll lovers in the house:

    “Three polls show Obama widening lead over Romney”
    August 11, 2012

    “Three polls released in the past 24 hours show President Barack Obama widening his lead over the former Massachusetts governor to as much as nine points. The surveys of registered voters, all conducted between Aug. 2 and 8, also have Mr. Romney’s unfavorable ratings headed north. Two of the polls show his support among independents slipping.

    A Fox News poll found the largest deficit, with Mr. Romney trailing by nine points (49 to 40 percent) That’s the widest gap Fox has reported all year….”

    Now I know Fox News is as LAME-STREAM as it gets but, hey, a poll’s a poll.

    (Report comment)

  • Noesis

    Yep, that’s the column I used and it’s the one where you see Clinton’s 20 million jobs. Sorry, but that’s how they measure and that’s the official number.
    —————–

    Except not even Obama himself, New York Times, or even the Huffingpost uses that column.

    (Report comment)

  • Solange Robillard

    indieVoter and Noesis have the best sexual tension I have ever beheld!

    Will they or won’t they?

    (Report comment)

    • indieVoter

      Wow, is that how all you gone with the wind, confederacy-loving fruitcakes think?

      (Report comment)

      • indieVoter

        “… the best sexual tension I have ever beheld.”

        And if it’s the best you’ve seen that must include yourself as well. I’ll take your Freudian-slip of a word for that one, and you have my condolences.

        (Report comment)

    • Noesis

      Nah, I just like making her look silly… and she makes it so easy to do so.

      (Report comment)

  • indieVoter

    Sorry you don’t like facts. Like you probably hate the fact we added 20,000,000 jobs under Clinton.

    President Years Jobs Added
    Kennedy/Johnson 1961–1965 +7,103,000
    Lyndon Johnson 1965–1969 +9,428,000
    Richard Nixon 1969–1973 +6,363,000
    Nixon/Ford 1973–1977 +6,251,000
    Jimmy Carter 1977–1981 +7,939,000
    Ronald Reagan 1981–1985 +6,552,000
    Ronald Reagan 1985–1989 +10,303,000
    George H. W. Bush 1989–1993 +3,032,000
    Bill Clinton 1993–1997 +12,060,000
    Bill Clinton 1997–2001 +8,106,000
    George W. Bush 2001–2005 +2,716,000
    George W. Bush 2005–2009 -4,506,000
    Barack Obama 2009–Jan’12 +3,354,000

    Yep, that’s the column I used and it’s the one where you see Clinton’s 20 million jobs. Sorry, but that’s how they measure and that’s the official number.

    (Report comment)

  • Noesis

    “the universally accepted numbers for Clinton and Reagan quoted all the time, even in presidential debates.”
    ———
    *Bull****, cough, cough*

    Indie… if Obambi created so many jobs, why is unemployment higher now than when he took office?

    It must be because there are 740,00 less people working now than when he took office.

    It must be pretty sad to not have been born with a “common sense” gene.

    (Report comment)

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