Every election year we write at least one editorial - usually many more than that - condemning attack ads.
We are much more attracted to candidates who extol their own virtues instead of attacking the other folks in the race. Despite poll after poll showing attack ads work, we have an innate sense that most people would rather vote FOR a candidate, instead of AGAINST one.
Perhaps that is naivete on our part, but we always wonder about the motives of any group that spends thousands of dollars ripping apart someone with the guts to run for office. The next time you see one of these ads on TV, ask yourself: Why aren't they talking about what their candidate will do if elected instead of trying to scare me away from his opponent?
After 40 years watching elections from a media viewpoint, we think candidates and campaigns can be summed up by three axioms:
1. People who fail to present positive ideas in advertisements don't have any.
2. Nasty campaigns are run by nasty people.
3. A candidate who will do anything to be elected - or let things be done in his or her name - is not worthy of your vote.
There are good, honest candidates in both parties and on every side of every issue. Spotting them is easy - the good guys debate their opponents. The bad guys debase theirs.
(Portions of this editorial have run previously in The Maui News.)
* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.