As I write this, tomorrow is the long-awaited, much-discussed, much-muddied primary election in West Virginia, for which I could not be happier.
My guess is most of those in the 1st Congressional District of West Virginia feel the same way. After tomorrow we all can take a deep, clean breath, clear our heads of claims and counter-claims, charges and counter-charges, insults and counter-insults, innuendo and counter-innuendo, and get back to daily living.
No more will we been leery of opening our newspaper, answering our telephone, turning on our TV or listening to our radio for fear of being bombarded with political advertising rhetoric and mug-slinging allegations, all claiming to be supported by fact ... as alleged by spin doctors, campaign managers and public relations firms.
The primary election for the 1st Congressional District seat has been one of the most vile I can remember in recent years. Candidates from both parties have taken no prisoners when accusing their opponents of being corrupt, liars and/or disloyal to their party and its base.
And, the mud-slinging wasn't just in the Congressional primary races ... several of the local races also delved into being more negative than positive.
It's disgusting that political races have become based on who can smear the other candidate the most. It's disgusting that attacking one's opponent seems to carry more importance to a candidate than describing and outlining a political plan of action if elected.
Many years ago that was not the way things were done. In 1970 I was doing PR for the treasurer of the state of Ohio who was running for state attorney general against a political unknown. The so-called statehouse loan scandal pretty well assured the treasurer of not being elected, but he refused to sling mud at his opponent, who I had spent a week in his hometown gathering enough ammunition to make the election a vicious battle. I have to admit, I admired my candidate for taking that stance, even though we all knew by so doing he assured his defeat in the general election.
I wish there still were candidates like that ... ones who opted for the high road, no matter what the outcome, rather than getting in the mud.