nastiness in politics points
to need for candidate encouragement
By Elliott Brack
editor and publisher
AUG. 27, 2002 -- So much for the Republican niceness in politics
You may remember that Gwinnett GOP Chairman Buzz Brockway early
in the year asked local candidates to do their part in running a
race based on issues. He asked that they, in effect, not stoop to
attack one another, and in reality, run a gentlemanly or ladylike
Here is part of that wording:
"Refrain from using deception, half-truths, falsification,
or innuendo in describing your opponents.
"Reject degrading, disparaging, or demeaning descriptions
or visual images of your opponent.
"Reject personal attacks, innuendo, or stereotyping in describing
or referring to your opponent."
In several local Republican races, the worst in candidates came
out, resulting in mud being tossed all around, names being bandied
about in ways not entirely kind, and in general, many of the candidates
stooping far lower than Mr. Brockway suggested.
It made the Republican Party seem to be acting, in effect, like
many would have expected from Democrats. It turned several Republican
races into continued bickering on minor topics, dismal pools of
charges and counter-charges, accusations of impropriety, and downright
nastiness. It is times like these in the political process that
voters often feel turned off by the shenanigans of the candidates,
or of their supporters.
In this year's case, it usually was not supporters, but the candidates
themselves, who were acting so shamefully.
We applaud Mr. Brockway for attempting to get his party candidates
campaigning in a reasonable and responsible manner. We share with
him the grief that comes when matters get out of hand as they did
in several races.
From this, the Republicans (and Democrats, too) ought to mount
an effort in the next few months to attract potential candidates
in the next term of elections. Sure, it is two years away, but it
takes time to convince good citizens to run for office.
If the local parties would run workshops on seeking and training
candidates over the next year, perhaps it could improve the situation.
From these workshops, the parties could get an indication of who
might be interested in running for the offices. The parties could
attempt to give these potential candidates guidance, help them determine
whether they would want to seek office, and in general, offer a
solid base in helping these potential candidates.
Such a concerted process is far better than merely flinging open
the doors and accepting any and all comers, ready or not to take
on the vicissitudes of campaigning. Who knows? Such training might
encourage some potentially good candidates who might otherwise not
run. And it might even discourage some people who would not make
either party look good if they were to become a candidate.
It might also help the two parties if they were to run a cursory
background check on the potential candidates, in order for the party
not to be embarrassed about a candidate's previous life.
The interesting aspect is that with our growth, Gwinnett is now
beginning to see many new credible candidates from both parties.
When this happens, we all gain, no matter which person or party
We may never see the end of dirty politics. Our major parties can
improve all our lot by working in positive terms to get, to paraphrase
former Gov. Lester Maddox, "a better crop of candidates."
returns slow in being posted
Editor, the Forum:
Just thought you'd like to know that the AJC had the results of
Tuesday's primary posted in all the counties by 3 a.m.
As of 1 p.m. the NEXT day!? The Secretary of State site (Cathy Cox)
still did not have the final results posted.
-- Don Printz, Stone Mountain
FOR THE DAY:
but no airline profits
"It seems counter-intuitive. The airport parking lots are
jammed. The terminals are jammed. The check-in counters are jammed.
The planes themselves are jammed. But the airline industry is in
deep trouble. The nine major airlines lost nearly $4 billion in
the first six months of this year." ---From The Beaufort (SC)
Gazette:, Aug. 15, 2002.
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