Katie Linder –
It’s that time of year again.
As the summer weather gradually turns into fall, it’s obvious what’s coming. I’m not talking about the leaves changing or the start of football season.
I’m talking about the upcoming elections.
Now that September is coming to a close, it’s hard to escape political ads. Between billboards, commercials, news coverage, and anything of the like, politics are everywhere right now. For a person like me, someone who has never voted in an election before, it can get a little overwhelming.
It’s not that I haven’t wanted to vote before. It’s that I’ve never been old enough. Now, at nineteen, I’m ready to vote in my first election.
Now that I am old enough to vote, I can’t help but pay more attention to some of the ads that seem to constantly be playing. Now that I actually have a chance to make a difference, it seems to matter to me what the politicians say and how they act.
Unfortunately, what I’ve been seeing makes me hesitant to vote for any of them.
It seems that politicians think that the only way they can get votes is to tell voters why not to vote for the other candidate. These attack ads go back and forth between politicians during the months preceding the election, gradually getting worse as time goes on.
While it’s great to know why the other candidate is a bad choice, what I really want to know is why I should vote for any given candidate.
For example, look at the 2012 presidential elections. Rather than seeing ads of Obama and Romney bashing each other, I much rather would have seen ads of each candidate saying why he was the better option.
To me, that would show self confidence. A great candidate doesn’t have to bash the other candidates in order to win. Someone who only speaks negatively about the other candidates and doesn’t give anything to back up his or her credentials, is, in my mind, someone who really doesn’t have any worthy credentials. If bashing other candidates is your only strategy, then you’ve just lost my vote.
However, that’s not to say that tactics like this shouldn’t be used at all during elections. As we all know, most politicians won’t be too terribly honest about past actions or beliefs that might turn voters away from them. This is where having another candidate involved, someone who will address these actions and beliefs, can be beneficial to the voters. Though the fact that these ideas are coming from an opposing candidate also brings up the question of the validity of the claims.
Like most people, I’m already tired of constantly seeing political ads. I’m also tired of the constant stream of attack ads that are coming from both parties. These ads definitely don’t make me want to vote one way or another. If anything, they make me not want to vote at all.
That being said, we all know how much of a difference voting can make. When election day rolls around, go out to the polls and vote, but vote for the candidates based on what each individual says that he or she will do, not based on what is being said about the other candidate.
In the meantime, sit back, relax, and remember that elections are almost over for the year!
Katie Linder, from Jacksonville, Illinois, is a sophomore majoring in English at Illinois College.
Katie is an opinions writer for The Rambler, a consultant in the Campus Writing Center, and a member of the IC concert choir.