Presidential campaigns have always piqued my curiosity. I used to joke and say it was the closest thing to a sporting event you could get on the news side of the newsroom.
Little did I realize I’d go from an elementary student watching Richard Nixon easily defeat Hubert Humphrey in 1968 — thanks in part to George Wallace’s run as an Independent — to witnessing what’s happening today.
And it’s not just on the national level between President Trump and presumptive-Democratic nominee Joe Biden. But that race certainly captures the most attention. The name-calling, lies and downright shameful tactics by both national campaigns have taken things to an unhealthy level.
Campaigns tend to get nasty when there’s a lot at stake. If you read your history, they say the 1828 campaign between John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson was one of the worst. Check it out.
Some of the state races for senator and representative this year have turned negative as well.
Candidates advertising in the Daily American Republic, though, have remained positive with their newspaper ads.
As for TV advertising, that’s a different story. The ones I’ve witnessed on Cape Girardeau television stations don’t appeal to me at all. I wonder how many others feel the same?
There are many candidates using Cape TV for their ads, not just our area candidates. But they all seem the same to me. They point out what I consider the obvious: They support President Trump, they are pro-Second Amendment and pro-police.
I’m not suggesting those things aren’t important, and I don’t believe defunding the police is a viable option. Should there be discussions about possible improvements? Yes. It’s always good to review how things are done.
But isn’t talking about supporting the president, pro-Second Amendment and pro-police the same thing as walking down the streets of St. Louis and telling everyone you’re a Cardinals and Blues fan?
I suggest candidates take a much different approach to their advertising. Instead of “preaching to the choir,” tell us how you’re going to make our lives better. I can think of several issues I want to know how a candidate plans to attack if elected.
To name a few — education, health care, jobs/economy, the state budget, lack of reliable rural internet services, deteriorating roads and bridges, food equality for everyone, and the current COVID-19 pandemic, just to name a few.
The DAR is running previews of contested races starting today, both in print and some with video online. Our stories will go into much more detail about many different topics than what you see in a 15- or 30-second TV commercial.
I was pleasantly surprised when I learned what the candidates shared with our reporters. They went into detail about many topics that will shape our future. Kudos to the candidates and DAR reporters and editor for putting these previews together, and to our video editor for making the online viewing possible.
I know it’s tough to get a lot of “meat and potatoes” in a short TV or radio commercial, and the candidates have advisors sharing what they believe will “play well” with voters.
To those advisors: Southeast Missourians (and I suspect most Missourians) are looking for candidates to share their opinions on topics that will affect their families and their bank accounts.
Let’s leave the name-calling and dirty politics to those on the national level.
If a candidate is willing to do that before elected — or be influenced by others to do so — what will happen when they are actually elected and supposed to be working for us?
Thank you to all of the candidates for stepping up and throwing your hats in the ring to serve. It isn’t easy putting yourself and family out there for everyone to critique.
Good luck to all candidates and be sure to follow darnews.com the evening of Aug. 4 for complete results.
And thank you for reading the DAR.
Chris is publisher of the Daily American Republic and can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org .