Neg­a­tiv­ity doesn’t work at lo­cal level

Cecil Whig - - OPINION -

FROM: RE­BECCA J. DEMMLER CHILDS

First of all, thanks to all who ran lo­cally for of­fices in Ce­cil County; I know it is not easy. A most sin­cere con­grat­u­la­tion to those who won.

That said, neg­a­tive cam­paign­ing has be­come al­most as Amer­i­can as mom’s ap­ple pie. On fed­eral and state lev­els, we are so in­un­dated with tac­tics of fear mon­ger­ing and ridicule and at­tempts at low­er­ing the opin­ion of the op­po­nent, (to the point of spread­ing false­hood) that we’ve be­gun to ac­cept this as “just the way it is.”

But, then we have our elec­tions here in Ce­cil County where cam­paign be­hav­ior has his­tor­i­cally re­jected such tac­tics. There has al­ways been an un­writ­ten rule against en­gag­ing in dis­hon­est, mis­lead­ing and down­right de­vi­ous at­tacks against an op­po­nent. I found it sad that there were a few, this time around, who must have thought that neg­a­tive in­nu­endo, false­hood and hurt­ful state­ments would de­flect votes to them­selves. That was most un­for­tu­nate.

The thing is, ci­ti­zens here are con­nected enough that we know the can­di­dates as our peers, friends and fel­low-ci­ti­zens. We ap­pre­ci­ate that they are will­ing to step for­ward and rec­og­nize that they have the best in­ter­est of their com­mu­nity at heart. Of course one will be fa­vored over another, but, this is based on the de­gree to which we be­lieve and sup­port the can­di­date’s strat­egy in deal­ing with lo­cal is­sues. Vot­ing for one does not equate to dis­like of the other. It is all about is­sues.

A re­minder for the fu­ture: On this lo­cal level, the voter feels a kin­ship to the can­di­date and neg­a­tiv­ity does not work.

Re­becca Demmler is a former Ce­cil County com­mis­sioner.

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