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As I write this column, the toxic political season is not quite over yet, but I sure wish it was. This has been an exceptionally brutal campaign on a lot of races and neither side can claim the high ground.

I think it was particularly hypocritical for Hillary to say that there wouldn't be civility until the Democrats were back in power. So, is she referring to Maxine Waters, who called for a full frontal verbal attack on any member of the President's cabinet? Or, maybe, she was talking about Cory (Spartacus) Booker who was quite "civil" during the Kavanaugh hearing (I'm being sarcastic in case you didn't catch it).

And, don't think I'm ignoring President Trump and his propensity for going after opponents. I'm not proud of that and don't condone it. But, don't point the finger at Republicans when you have example upon example of Democratic candidates and surrogates screaming and yelling at any smallest slight. They must have the tender skin of a newborn baby as much as they hyperventilate over everything conservatives say or do.

Nope, even this political junkie is ready for the mudslinging, screaming, bending of facts and outright lies to be over with. What am I saying? It will never be over. The Democrats still can't accept the election of 2016 and, regardless of who wins on Tuesday, the toxicity will continue.

Who is to blame for all the negative campaigning? We are; that's who! Everyone I talk to says that they can't stand negative campaigning but yet it has been proved, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that negative campaigns move people to vote in certain ways. A big segment of voters do nothing to research the candidates and what they really stand for. Instead, they rely on 30 second sound bites on television to decide who they are going to vote for.

So, if negative campaigning moves voters, and people rely on television sound bites as their decision maker, then obviously candidates are going to continue to run negative campaigns. This is a fact of life and will continue until voters make informed decisions. Good luck on that one!

Now, I also need to point out that a lot of negative campaign ads are not run by the candidate themselves (on both sides of the aisle). Rather, they are paid for by third-party groups and the candidates are not supposed to have any knowledge of or input into the content of the ads. If they do, it is an election violation and a pretty serious deal for a candidate.

So, what do we do? Good question and I wish I had a good answer. Everybody wrings their hands and calls for a calm but neither side is willing to be the first one to stop mudslinging because they know it works.

I had a conversation this week with a good friend who is, shall I say, a little "left" of my political world. I'm pretty sure that we will cancel each other out on Tuesday unless she comes to her senses before -- just kidding (kinda). But we ended our conversation as we started -- as friends. I can do that as long as someone isn't yelling at me or calling me vile names because of my beliefs.

Maybe we could start this whole process of working together by acknowledging what we have in common and fight over the other things. We might find out that we have more in common than we think. But, that will require looking at issues factually rather than just relying on feelings.

The next time the fighting begins, see if people are approaching the issue with common sense and facts or with ideological rhetoric with no basis in reality except for their own strict belief system. I'm not saying we shouldn't use our beliefs, but let's also maybe think a little more abstract for a change.

In a letter to the editor a few days ago, the writer said that she had a bumper sticker that read, "Because of my faith, I vote for Democrats." That is her opinion and I can respect it; but if I had one, it would say that "Because of my faith I can't vote for Democrats."

Faith is very personal and I would not condemn her for her beliefs, but my take on the two political parties is apparently quite different than hers. So, let's just understand that we come from very different worlds of faith and we should be tolerant of those different beliefs.

Next week is Veteran's Day and a multitude of Americans have died to preserve that right.

Kevin Wilson is a former state representative who was born in Goodman and now lives in Neosho. Opinions expressed are those of the author.

Editorial on 11/08/2018

Print Headline: Is It Over Yet?

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