As Illinois’ primary date of March 20, 2012 approaches, many people are still undecided as to whom they are going to vote for in the presidential race as well as other races throughout the state. If early voting in Illinois is any indication, voting is going to be quite low compared to the 2008 primary election in Illinois.
As one who has kept up with the candidates, I am not sure which candidate is the least bad of all of them after being inundated with negative debates and ads. However, at this point, the one thing I’m sure of is that the candidate who has outdone all the others in negative advertising will not get a vote here.
In the past week, most of the ads I’ve heard on radio and television are from Mitt Romney and his PACs, trying so desperately hard to convince the masses as to just how terrible Rick Santorum is – in Romney’s and Romney’s supporters’ opinions.
The thing is that these ads haven’t told me anything that anyone who is the slightest bit politically astute doesn’t already know about Santorum. We already know that he lost his last senatorial race in Pennsylvania. We already know that he voted ‘with his party’ on some unpopular issues when he was in Washington, D.C. under President George W. Bush. We already know everything these ads are telling us about him – from years ago.
It’s a brand new day and a brand new election, and Mitt Romney’s negativity is beyond repulsive. This afternoon, while listening to ABC’s WLS-AM news talk radio in Chicago, I heard three negative ads about Santorum within five minutes! Where do Romney and all his PACs get all the money to tell the people of Chicago how terrible Santorum is so often? Why doesn’t at least one of the ads tell us something about the candidate Mitt Romney?
All one knows about Romney is what he says at the end of some of the ads:
‘I’m Mitt Romney, and I approve of this message.’
Anyone who says that the negativity will all be forgotten after a nominee is chosen in Tampa in August is only partially correct. The candidates will forget about it and all back the nominee. It’s what candidates do. Remember how Hillary Clinton embraced Barack Obama after she was defeated in 2008 – and see where she is today? The impossible doesn’t always happen in politics, but it often does.
Unfortunately, the public doesn’t forget the negativity that is spewed during the campaign season. The long-term memory of viciousness lasts through the campaign, through the election, and even through the winner’s term in office.
While there is plenty that I like about each GOP candidate and the Democratic candidate President Obama, there is plenty that I don’t like about each of the candidates, too. So, with the electoral clock ticking, what needs to be decided is who will get ‘the vote’ on Illinois primary day – March 20, 2012.
To shorten the list of selecting either Newt Gingrich or Barack Obama or Ron Paul or Mitt Romney or Rick Santorum, let’s start with eliminating the most negative of the campaigners to send yet another loud and clear message that the masses are disgusted with the negative campaigning. Without a doubt, this knocks Mitt Romney off the list of possible candidates to get a vote first.
If anyone knows a great reason why Mitt Romney should get Illinoisans’ votes, please ask him to put it in at least one of his ads – and tell him to quit spewing what people already know about the other candidates.
Hopefully, the Illinois primary will show the candidates that negative advertising doesn’t always get the vote while civility and promoting one’s self does. In a time when Illinois sends its second Governor to prison for corruption – first, George Ryan and now Rod Blagojevich – it seems that voting for civility as opposed to vicious negative campaigning and advertising is definitely the right thing to do.
The primary source of the Mitt Romney political ads is WLS-AM news talk radio/ABC-owned in Chicago
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