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Mud slinging and mockery take center stage at debate

By Julia Hahn, Columnist

"We need to cut taxes, otherwise businesses will leave faster than Paladino at a gay bar," gubernatorial candidate Kristin Davis said. And so began the show of one-liners that took place at Hofstra University this past week.

As we are in the midst of campaign season, a constantly recurring problem is brought to my attention: the ‘strategy' of dirty politics. It is a strategy that is used by so many politicians that it's almost commonplace, but it is a dangerous sickness that every single person involved in politics should try to fix. I watch commercials for respective governors, the debates between them, and stories leaked onto the Internet and newspapers dirty politics, and not only do they seem pointless, but they also take away the entire point of running for office. Comments like "every time Carl Paladino opens his mouth, my campaign gets stronger" from Libertarian candidate Warren Redlich, are just one example of something called dirty politics.

When a person chooses to run for any type of office they should be running for the sole purpose of helping their city, state, or country. A person's campaign is a very limited amount of time for them to get their messages out to the people and explain how they attempt to fix problems in the government and make things better. This valuable time should not be wasted by mud slinging and smear campaigns.  

Similar to City Councilman Charles Barron who continually slammed Democratic candidate Andrew Cuomo with statements such as "New Yorkers will lose their jobs, their health care and their pensions if the Democrat gets into office." Well, Charles Barron, we understand that if Cuomo gets into office it will be a bad thing, but will you tell us what happens if you get into office? Voters should not give their faith to someone just because they seem to be the lesser of two evils. They should be able to give their vote to the politician who they believe will represent their views best.

Nowadays, instead of a certain candidate saying what they can do for the public; they take all of their time to say what their opponents have done wrong. As a voter myself, my primary concern is not with why your opponent is worse than you, but what you offer that is better than your opponent.

A campaign should focus on the positive aspects of a candidate, not the negative aspects of the opposition. For example, while I was watching the governor's debate at The University all of the minority candidates simply took turns taking shots at the Republican and Democratic candidates. Naming the faults of the major candidates in a race does not make me want to vote for you. Another quote from Barron about Cuomo points out "anything that benefits his business cronies he's not going to fight against." This quote stemmed from the conversation of Barron wanting to put a stop to environmentally unsafe hydro-fracking ("hydraulic fracturing"). He claimed that Cuomo would do no such thing because it would take money away from his friends and campaign donors. It only tarnishes your image in which you are trying so hard to build up. If you want to make a name for yourself in the political world then tell me what exactly it is that makes you different from all of the other names on my voting ballot.

If a person makes their entire campaign about smearing someone else, it also makes me realize that you definitely consider that other person as a threat and you don't feel so good about your own chances. What does it mean when to the voters when you waste all of your time trying to dig up dirt on your opponents? Tell me how you plan to increase the economy for your city or state. How am I supposed to be confident in your abilities when you are not?

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