Tim Timmons | Crawfordsville, IN

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December 14, 2017

Stop attack ads with your vote
It's simple -- don't vote for anyone who goes negative

Stop it. Stop, stop, stop, stop, stop.
Last week, the Indiana Democratic Party staged an event that their own press release described as "opposition to (Indiana Gov. Mike) Pence's arrogant and out of touch agenda that has crippled the middle class and held Indiana back from reaching its full potential . . . (Pence and his polices) have increased the wage gap, cut education funding for urban and rural schools and caused an economic panic across Indiana."
A day before that they sent this out:
"Hoosiers (sic) Democrats will bring commonsense (sic) solutions to help solve today's problems for hardworking (sic) families. Not only will it be priority to add LGBT Hoosiers to the state's nondiscrimination (sic) laws, but Democrats will fight to help unite all families in Indiana."
Before we get into the meat of this - stop telling me why I should not vote for someone and instead tell me why I should vote for you - let's examine the words (and ignore the fact that they have at least four errors in one paragraph).
One could easily read that the message is intended to create divisiveness based on money, race and sex. Wow, did they really intend to leave religion out or did they just forget? Yeah, yeah, conventional wisdom in today's political jungle is that attack ads work. Maybe so. Maybe not. I'm not really sure you can draw definitive conclusions when 3 out of 4 people don't bother to vote. Then again, if the intent of the attack philosophy is to keep voters at home it's working brilliantly.
Let me be clear.
• I don't care who's gay - I don't believe anyone should be discriminated against. And by the way, gay, straight or in-between, I really don't want to know what you do in the bedroom.
• I get it that some people don't make as much money as others. My wife and I started out 30-some years ago renting the upstairs of a house and upgraded to a house trailer. What we got since we worked hard for. We're not special. Anyone can do it.
• I believe some schools are better than others. Get out of the way and let teachers teach and I think that'll change for the better overnight.
Are you listening John Gregg and Glenda Ritz and Mike Pence and anyone else thinking about the state's top office? Here's some advice from someone who really doesn't matter more than the one single vote he owns.
Give. Me. Reasons. To. Vote. For. You.
Do. Not. Tell. Me. Why. To. Vote. Against. Someone.
Don't insult me. I'm a big boy. I can make up my own mind - even if I get my wife to help me. Economic panic? Puh-lease. There's more panic about stalled trains in Crawfordsville than what the hired hands in Indianapolis are doing. Which also means that Mike Pence doesn't need help from the Democrats to look bad. He's managed to go from a prospective leader of the free world to a guy who's going to have to work his tail off to keep his job. All by himself.
But let's go further. I like John Gregg. Met him when he was in office before and again at Vincennes. Seems like a nice guy. Might even get my vote - unless his party continues acting like a 2-year-old throwing a tantrum. Pence still might as well. They both have a chance to earn it - or lose it.
The lesson was evident on a local level. Just three years ago, Deanna Durrett was running a close race for county commissioner against incumbent Terry Hockersmith. Near the end of the campaign, a mailer was sent that some claimed attacked Hockersmith. End result? Hockersmith won a narrow victory and more than a few political observers said the so-called attack tilted the scales.
Heck, we still have elected officials in the county today who don't need a campaign to be negative. They blast away at their opponents from behind backs and closed doors every chance they get.
Call me naïve, but here's hoping that voters distance themselves from any candidate or office holder who ventures down that dark and dangerous path. I hope that we show them the door and bid them a swift boot to the back-side in the process. Political attacks have been around for a long time, but they've gotten worse. And rose-colored glasses or not, I'd like to think us common folk - heretofore described as we the people - are better than that. Are we? Stop rewarding attacks with votes and we'll prove it.






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