Negativity doesn’t work at local level
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.