Editorial: And now it is time
After months of TV ads, Virginia’s election for governor is almost here. Virginians will welcome Tuesday with relief, for it means the end of a constant barrage of negative campaigning, the length and like of which we have never before seen. We hope not to see its like again, but realize this is a vain ambition.
The tone of elections, not to vote for me because of my strengths, but against the other candidate because of his or her failings, has been terrible at the national level for years. This tone seems to be making itself comfortable on the state level. And it has even crept a bit into the local campaigns this year, with a few people doing their best to sow suspicion against someone on the other side.
In local elections, where we are still privileged to be able to meet and talk with candidates, this should be unnecessary. If ever a person is elected on his or her strengths rather than the opponent’s weaknesses, it should be locally.
The day is nearly here and we have to deal with it. We suspect a good deal of negative campaigning has the effect, and possibly the intent, of suppressing voter turnout for the other guy. Rise above that Machiavellian tactic and cast your ballot. Voting is a basic right of citizenship, not a privilege. It is up to the citizens to create their own government, according to their beliefs and ideals.
Election Day is the American form of a birthday for democracy. Only if the whole family celebrates this day is there a chance we can get along and make progress in the year ahead.