Stop the slander

It finds people in their cars. It creeps onto billboards, benches and buses. It seeks out people in their mailboxes and their homes. It stalks people nearly everywhere during the months of October and November. ‘It’ is political slandering, and it has been happening in the U.S. since at least Andrew Jackson’s presidential campaign in 1870, according to John William Ward, author of Andrew Jackson: Symbol for an Age.

When politicians spread rumors and complaints about their opponent to potential teen voters, they are crossing a line.”

Politicians have a history of pestering people who they consider to be possible voters. Both Democrats and Republicans alike urge people in or near their jurisdiction to vote for them by stationing volunteers outside of polling places, staking their signs into whoever’s lawn they can and calling people’s personal phones.

This incessant reminder of elections can be annoying enough, with political ads and campaigning suffocating the people of the U.S. for at least the month or two of preceding elections. When politicians spread rumors and complaints about their opponent to potential teen voters, they are crossing a line.

In St. Louis, this past election has been slandered with political propaganda from varying candidates, positions and political parties. Accusations flew through radio waves the weekend before this Election Day, with politicians calling their opponents “Obama supporters” as if this was the absolute worst thing any politician could support. And with social media now on the long list of ways people take in information, politicians can now even tweet out their hateful remarks or complaints.

The most popular campaigning strategy is old school: letters, flyers and posters in voters’ mailboxes. Remarks are mailed in large flyers with obnoxious comments boldly staring readers in the face. The claims state vague reasons as to why so-and-so is a terrible person and unfit to hold any government office.

The large amount of slander coming from Kirkwood politicians is ridiculous.  Although I cannot vote at the moment, I would honestly be conflicted when at voting polls as to who I should select to represent me and the other people of Kirkwood, since the politicians running have all made terribly childish campaigning moves.

The question of how to end the political slander race has a simple answer: politicians should not broadcast accusations in the first place. They can get their name out by just doing positive advertising or talking about their stance on the issues for once. With that, voters can hate politicians for their political choices and beliefs instead of their campaigning style.