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The Northerner

Attack ads uncalled for

Joseph Szydlowski

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I can’t wait for Election Day.

Not because I want the Democrats to bring back the good ol’ days when Congress at least pretended to stand up to a Republican president.

Nor because I hope that Issue 3 will pass and I’ll be able to gamble away my money instead of drinking it away.

Nor is it because I hope someone, or rather anyone, will replace Ohio Governor Bob Taft.

I just want these terrible campaign ads to stop.

I’m afraid to turn on my television. Not because of the sex, violence and drugs. After all, that’s why I turn on my TV.

No, I fear having my Simpsons or Seinfeld interrupted by vicious attack ads. I loathe having to wade through five minutes of what the channels spew out: a nauseating mix of slanders, half-truths, personal attacks and ridiculous charges.

I have seen an ad blaming one candidate for Cincinnati’s murder rate. Another accused a House candidate of wanting to raise taxes on the average family by $2,200.

Such dirty politics, however, is not confined to just one medium. Television isn’t the only one whose hands are dirty from the politicians’ mudslinging.

According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, the Republican Ohio Gubernatorial Candidate Ken Blackwell has hinted that his opponent, Ted Strickland, is gay and supports pedophilia.

He has also distributed transcripts of a radio talk show where Strickland’s sexual orientation was questioned.

Even while I was reading an article on the Enquirer’s Web site about how bad the mudslinging has become, an advertisement appeared deriding Rep. Steve Chabot for courting the Religious Right.

It decried his opposition to “life-saving” stem cell research. However, embryonic stem cell research really hasn’t been too life-saving. In 2001, Peter Andrews, from the United Kingdom’s University of Sheffield, wrote that although he hopes to continue stem cell research, he doesn’t see it being used on anyone except “selected volunteers in the next 10 years.”

In 2005, several researchers wrote in The Lancelet, a scholarly journal, about the potential of stem cells, but cautioned that “there is still much to do if the promise of stem cells is to be realized.”

Clearly, embryonic stem cells have great possibility, but they need time. However, the ad portrayed Chabot as killing a program that was already saving lives.

I wish I could say vote for the candidates who refrain from such disgusting dialogues, but I can’t seem to find any.

Informing yourself on every candidate, while admirable, sadly isn’t always practical, especially at this late in the game. Mid-terms, family, friends and work do come first.

Instead, know what the parties represent. Know the issues you really care about, and vote for those who share your outlook.

If you oppose stem cell research, vote for Chabot. If you support it, then vote for his opponent.

If you care about the environment, then you’ll usually find the Democrats to be your cup of tea.

If you care most about the 2nd Amendment, then typically the Republicans’ views will be easier to swallow.

Nevertheless, politics is rarely so simple. Libertarians will find both camps appealing and revolting at the same time.

So, I think many others will vote the way I usually do. I hold my nose and vote for the lesser of two evils.

Then I wait for Election Day to be over, so I can get back to watching commercials for used cars and cheap quasi-legal auto insurance, and leave the dirty politics to the mudslingers.

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The Independent Student Newspaper of Northern Kentucky University.
Attack ads uncalled for