Editorial: Candidates, how about some originality?

Editorial Board • Jul 7, 2020 at 10:30 PM

It’s that lovely time of year when everything is green. Gardens are producing nourishing, delicious vegetables. And politicians are blaring at us if we dare turn on broadcast, cable or satellite television.

Rarely have those seeking political office used their television spots to offer much of anything of substance, nor offered the tiniest reason you, dear voter, should cast a vote in their favor. Nope. It’s just a whole lot of “I” and “me” and hot air.

But local (or local-ish) candidates seeking federal office this year have managed, incredibly, to all sing the exact same tune and still offer no substance. Take any commercial from any Republican and Democratic candidate and you can pretty much just swap out the faces and voices, but the message remains the same.

Surely you’ve seen them. If you’ve been fortunate enough to have missed these 30 seconds of sameness, allow us to catch you up:

“I’m a conservative.”

“I’m a Christian.”

“Whatever President Trump wants, I want the same thing.” That’s paraphrased, but you get the idea.

There you go. You’re 100% caught up.

For Democrats, the tune goes like this:

“Donald Trump must go.”

You’re caught up with the message from the left.

Now don’t you feel educated about the candidates? Some of you are sadly nodding with affirmation. The rest just realized you don’t know squat about many of these candidates.

You don’t know where they stand on justice reform.

You don’t know where they stand on education.

You don’t know where they stand on addressing pressing infrastructure deficiencies.

You don’t know where they stand on Social Security/Medicaid/Medicare.

You don’t know how they would respond to a pandemic or other national/global health crisis.

The list of you-don’t-knows could go on for pages.

But let’s go back to the “Whatever President Trump wants, I want the same thing” drumbeat. Republican candidates are relying on that just a little much, we think. What if President Trump is defeated in November? What if you are elected, but your crutch is gone?

The same with the Democratic mantra of “Donald Trump must go.” What if Donald Trump wins re-election? Then what’s your plan?

To their credit, a couple of the candidates have used their print ad space to give us some substance. For that we are thankful.

But overall, video substance thus far has been virtually nil. Granted, we’ve never looked to 30-second spots for depth. Far from it. But when they’re so much alike that simply changing out faces would suffice, the entire field has an identity issue.

So come on, candidates. Throw us a bone. Offer us a nugget of something that distinguishes you from the field. Give us just one reason to vote for you. Is that too much to ask?

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