Negative Attacks In Politics

Allow me to take this time to go on a little rant about the abundance of negative ads that politicians use to attack each other.  Recently, McCain pointed out that Hamas, a Palestinian militant organization, deemed a terrorist group, is rooting for Obama to win the presidency.

     “It’s clear who Hamas wants to be the next president of the United States,” said McCain, adding that this should be “a legitimate point of discussion.”

     He then went on to falsely accuse Obama of being friendly with Iran and agreeing to unconditional negotiations with the country’s president, Ahmadinejad, describing this as “a distinct difference between [himself] and Senator Obama.”  These remarks were made just a few weeks after the Hardball College Tour at Villanova in which McCain implied that he would not run negative ads or attacks as long as his opponent did not.  It seems, though, that the Republican nominee did not hold true to these statements.  Obama did not make a single attack towards McCain; he merely defended himself after the remarks, saying that McCain was “losing his bearings.”

     Now, obviously Obama does not support any terrorist organizations.  Obama knows this, Clinton knows this, and McCain knows this.  Even the American public knows this.  Still, McCain’s remarks will surely affect voters’ opinions on Barack Obama, a nominee whose unique name in itself is questionable.

     Of course, not all the blame should go on McCain.  To be fair, Senator Clinton has fanned out more than her fair chair of negative ads and ruthless attacks, from calling her opponent an “elitist” to implying that he won’t be ready at three a.m.  Even the latest political debate focused more on flag pins than the issues.

     In an ideal world, no candidates would ever attack one another, and negative ads would be obsolete. The media would not run Reverend Wright on a loop for 24 hours, and they wouldn’t try to find scandals with every candidate.  Unfortunately, this is not the case.  Although my little rant is probably quite biased, the point is that negative ads are distracting and often irrelevant, but unfortunately, they exist, and they work.  Maybe one day all the candidates will be big enough to rise above this and focus on their own problems, but until then, hopefully the public will see past these attacks and vote for who they think will make a good leader.


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