Negative? No

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The complaints about negative political campaigning, especially political ads, are constant.

“We don’t like negative campaigning,” people say.

Then we go out and vote for the people who are responsible for all the negativity.

Well, unless we’re willing to vote for a third party, we don’t have much choice.

But here is where we do have a choice, here is where we, at The Cabinet, get to put our money where out mouths are.

We, too, dislike negative campaigning and while we cannot do anything about that, or about negative ads, there is one area, at least, that we can control and that is our Letters to the Editor.

We have decided that with this campaign – on all levels, from president to supervisor of the checklist – we will not accept any negative letters. No exceptions.

We want your letters about the campaign but the rule is simple: Keep them positive.

Tell us, for instance, why you intend to vote for President Obama or Gov. Romney.

Don’t tell us why you’re going to vote against one of them.

We won’t print it.

And, by the way, this applies to letters about people who have written letters. For now, at least, we will not print them.

The battle against all this nasty negativity has to start somewhere, so let’s start it here, in the Souhegan Valley, with you and with us.

We know you have lots of reasons for favoring a candidate, or candidates.

If you are, for instance, an Amherst Republican, tell us why you intend to vote for all three of the GOP House candidates from that town, or perhaps only two of them, or perhaps only one.

If you are a Milford Democrat, tell us why you intend to vote for the Democratic candidates, or a particular candidate.

One thing we think you might discover: It’s actually harder to explain why you’re supporting someone than to attack his or her opponent, but we all live for challenges, don’t we? Well, let’s all challenge ourselves.

And we make you this pledge: If and when we decide to endorse a candidate or candidates, we will endorse, not condemn.

One more thing: We will run letters critical of policies as long as the criticism is reasonably stated. So, yes, you can criticize a health care plan or a tax plan but without attacking the person whose plan it is.

Let’s start the revolution against negativity right here, right now, in the Souhegan Valley and The Cabinet.

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