Well, as of 8pm last Saturday, the 2015 Louisiana Gubernatorial Primary elections are over. And, the runoff election period has begun. As such, there are just a few things that I feel need to be said at this point, in my opinion. First of all, I hope that you recently exercised one of our most basic American rights and privileges, the right to vote! Though the weather was not good on election day, I hope that you were able to cast your ballot at your local precinct (or that you had an opportunity to vote early).
Secondly, I hope that the candidates of your choice won their particular electoral race. However, if your candidates did not win, I hope that you can support the winners in an amicable fashion and also that you can find some way in which to feel that you are being fairly represented by persons soon to be holding political office within the state of Louisiana.
All of this being said, I want to make a few more points. I want to ask our local political candidates (as well as our statewide candidates) to stay focused on the issues and to refrain as much as possible from all of the negative advertising that we were repeatedly hammered with during the primary election period (especially in the days immediately preceding last Saturday’s election).
Obviously, I am a newspaperman. So, of course, I want as much advertising as possible, naturally (always). This goes without saying! However, how refreshing would it be if (as much as possible), the advertising for our upcoming November 21st runoff elections took on a more positive focus? What if the political candidates who made the runoffs focussed the majority of their advertising efforts on their own positive character traits, skills and abilities?
I truly believe that candidates should focus on telling the voting public what they can do in order to promote positive change and economic growth in terms of the issues with which we are faced both in today’s economic climate (and today’s world in general). Of course, this has to be done in context of the specific jurisdiction and domain of the particular office in question. In short Mr./Ms. Candidate, what do you bring to the elected position that you are seeking?
Over the last several days/weeks, I have heard (as we all have) the usual complaints about all of the repeated negative political advertising to which we are exposed during every election cycle. I think that it would be fairly safe to assume (logically thinking) that negative political advertising has been around in some form or fashion ever since the very first political race took place. However, it seems that negative political advertising gets remarkably worse with each passing election cycle. These days, basically no degree of negative political advertising “opponent bashing” is considered out of bounds or unfair. Essentially, no part of a person’s past or background is considered off-limits if this person is seeking political office.
Most certainly, there are things that we do in fact need to know about our political candidates in order to make an informed/intelligent voting decision. However, we all realize that a rather large majority of the negative political advertising to which we are exposed so often fills us with both assertions and facts (sometimes true..sometimes not true) that we really don’t want to know and don’t need to know. Most of the time, these “facts” have absolutely nothing to do with a candidate’s abilities and the skills they possess in relation to properly performing or carrying out the duties and responsibilities of the political office they are seeking.
A few nights ago, I dreamed that I ran for political office. The political office I was seeking was not revealed in the dream. What I do remember, however, is standing up on the political platform at a Candidate’s Forum event to make a speech (or at least an announcement) regarding the anti-negative advertising policy that I planned to follow during my campaign. Essentially, I told those in attendance that my opponent(s) could say anything that they wanted to say about me. However, I was not going to retaliate. No matter what was said about me, I was going to stay positive and focus solely upon what I thought I could accomplish. Let me ask, is this concept an attainable reality or merely just a dream?
Randy Brown is Publisher of the Bossier Press-Tribune. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.