Friday, June 02, 2006

This dirty election campaign

This dirty election campaign
I have spent the last 34 years teaching young people to be social studies teachers. We start with the conception that schools are to teach reading, writing, math; and civic responsibility. Our schools were established to prepare young people for civic participation.
It is hard to teach this lesson. Young people say: they are all corrupt. The rich own the politicians. And, of course, they are substantially correct. All you have to do is look at the Enron story, or World Com., and their relationship with the Bush family and you will recognize that the rich have looted our nation’s democracy. [Recommend, see the video: Enron: The smartest guys in the room]
But now the California election is adding to the cynicism. The two major candidates on the Democratic Party side are spending up to $60 million to convince voters (and young people) that the other candidate is corrupt, purchased, and controlled by big money. Now, a $60 million media buy has an effect. It teaches people that our elections are corrupt, purchased, and dirty. After seeing the ads you could well conclude that they are all dirty.
I recognize that the campaign managers each think they must do this to compete. They know that negative ads work. But, they are also teaching cynicism, hopelessness and despair. No. This is not OK.
I am deeply offended by this campaign, the campaign managers, the media advisors, and the candidates. You have sullied our democracy in pursuit of a very narrow victory.
And, one of you will win. All of this negative campaigning will weaken you in the Fall against Schwarzenegger.
Duane Campbell
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