Cardinal Politics: Campaigning gone wrong

By on February 14, 2012

By Marianna Michael–

Politics should not be defined as an act anymore — it is an art form. The art of politicking has evolved from organized debates to today’s vicious slandering. As if this were not enough, “Super PACs,” PACs being Political Action Committees, are gaining power. These groups can endorse whomever they please and spend as much money as they want on any form of advertisement. This gives candidates a way to run malicious ads about their competition without necessarily having to take the blame. By allowing third parties to campaign on their behalf, candidates relinquish any responsibility to ads that slander another candidate.

America is losing control of its government and the way that the government works. It is upsetting to see all these candidates for the presidency not having to be held accountable. A good leader would not allow such a group of people to attack his opponents. Instead, he would take a stand and offer a more effective and honest way to spend the funds being put into these ads. Even though none of the candidates have given permission to the Super PACs to run the advertisements, they are not condemning them either. This is just as bad.

Newt Gingrich is a prime example of how slanderous campaigning turns people into hypocrites. Towards the end of 2011, Gingrich was constantly complaining about how the media and Mitt Romney unfairly called him out on many issues. He continuously reminded Americans that he had never slandered any of his opponents. It was only a matter of days after Gingrich’s announcement that he started running negative advertisements towards the Romney camp. This is a prime example of hypocrisy at it’s finest.

Campaign advertising is not bad and is in fact the nature of how a politician gets elected in this day and age. This part of political life is accepted and harmless. There are examples of this all around campus as CardVision and CardsUnite compete in SGA ‘s election. What is harmful is libel, the malicious publication of untrue material. This is not only against the first amendment, but diminishes the legitimacy of the entire electoral system. Politicking becomes art in the way that campaigns can get around the standard of clean campaigns.

What makes political elections seem so full of guile is that everyone tries to find fault with everyone else. The thing is, no one is perfect. Yes, Gingrich has had many wives and Romney is rich, but why does that matter? Those are personal decisions that they have made in their past. Most people should desire a president that is willing to forgive his or her opponents and look towards the future. In a perfect world, a president would be elected based on what he or she can do for his or her country, not by what their demographics or history say.

In a utopia, there would be such a thing as a clean campaign. Politicians would run for office based on their own merits, not by slamming their opponents. Until this day comes, voters can sit back and watch a bipartisan effort to make everyone look bad.

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