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Wanted: Less negative presidential candidates PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wauneta Breeze   
Friday, 05 February 2016 17:44

By Pat Holder


The current presidential election is fraught with candidates.  Even though we have  some quite colorful characters, what the entire field have in common is ALL use negative campaign tactics. It drives me crazy when political candidates employ attack politics instead of just outlining their platforms.

To make matters worse, political advertising is not governed by “truth in advertising” law but is protected by the first amendment, so candidates can say pretty much whatever they want about their opponents.

And quite unfortunately, negative campaigns work, apparently because they get people riled up so they will actually vote.

I am riled up but mostly because of attacks by candidates on other candidates.  My sister-in-law put it best when she said this presidential election is like “cartoon characters hurling garbage at each other.”

That reminds me of the 2008 presidential election’s most entertaining candidate, Vermin Supreme, (his real name) an unusual character who is known for the rubber boot he wears on his head. He ran on a “pony” platform, everyone gets a free pony. He also carried a large toothbrush, saying if elected, he would pass a law requiring people to brush their teeth.

Other “interesting” facts about his campaign, also part of his platform, include zombie apocalypse awareness boasting a zombie-based energy plan. He even planned to direct his people to conduct time travel research.

The best thing about Vermin is that he didn’t attack other candidates. He laid out his campaign and behaved as though other candidates didn’t exist.

I watched a “debate” on C-span in October 2008 consisting of a panel of overlooked presidential candidates including, along with Mr. Supreme, Santa Claus, an independent write-in candidate.

When Vermin broke into his nutty campaign song, his own composition, the photographers who usually sit on the floor in front of the table of candidates were literally rolling in the aisles.

This makes the ongoing presidential election seem tame, or at the very least, typical. Compared with the card-carrying lunatic fringe member Vermin Supreme, the present candidates are a bit boring, truly lacking in creativity.

While Vermin didn’t get my vote (no pun intended), I truly appreciate that we live in a country where even those who are more than a bit off kilter are allowed to run for president.

I guess I just need to lighten up and consider our election in progress in the same light as the 2008 campaigns.

Incidentally, Mr. Supreme, while not elected, in 2008 received 43 votes nationally in the general election and ran again in 2012. He didn’t win.