Change cam­paign rules

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - OPINION -

Dear Ed­i­tor: Friends and I agree that never, in our years walk­ing on this planet, have we wit­nessed such a de­plorable, base, crude year of cam­paign­ing.

In Eng­land, cam­paign­ing lasts two to three months. It is sane, in­tel­li­gent, dig­ni­fied.

Our cam­paigns have be­come a three-ring cir­cus. Cost? $1.5 bil­lion. Those are wasted dol­lars that could have fed kids, pro­tected and cleaned up the en­vi­ron­ment, re­paired a few bridges, pro­vided bet­ter home care for the el­derly, and so much more. Cam­paign­ing for more than a year is stupid and waste­ful.

Years ago, can­di­dates had to meet strict rules and were scru­ti­nized be­fore cam­paign­ing. What hap­pened to those stan­dards?

Franklin De­lano Roo­sevelt, when cam­paign­ing, said, “Do not men­tion my op­po­nent’s name for good or ill. Each time you do, you give him free ad­ver­tis­ing. Fo­cus on my ac­com­plish­ments, my fu­ture plans for the peo­ple.”

Ex­actly! A set of rules must be cre­ated whose goal is to meet stan­dards for a cam­paign of high-mind­ed­ness, in­tegrity, honor; to pro­vide an ex­am­ple of pro­found lead­er­ship; to de­fine a cam­paign wor­thy for the world to ad­mire. Break the rules? A heavy fine.

Our gov­ern­ment has lost its way, and we peo­ple have lost re­spect and are ashamed. We have been cast adrift and left rud­der­less with­out a strong wind to set the sails and chart a new course.

Joyce Bene­dict, Hyde Park

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