Our View: Mud-slinging season starts | CraigDailyPress.com

Our View: Mud-slinging season starts

— Once again, it’s starting to get muddy on the airwaves.

Now that the big political conventions in Denver and Minneapolis are over, the picks for running mates have been announced and the candidates have accepted their nominations, let the dirty politics commence.

Sure, the candidates always say they want to run clean campaigns. Sure, they pledge to stay away from tearing each other down in favor of rising above politics-as-usual mentalities. Sure they will.

Yet, although we know it’s coming, their slide into mud slinging won’t be any less painful to watch.

That’s why we were so encouraged early this week when Sen. Barack Obama said that the candidate’s families were “off limits.”

A juicy piece of dirt had just been revealed about one of the family members of newly minted vice presidential candidate Gov. Sarah Palin – we’re sure you heard about it – and the Obama-Biden campaign could have raised Cain with that tidbit. Instead, Obama came out harsh at a press conference when asked about Palin’s personal announcement. He quashed any questions from reporters about it and pledged to fire anyone working on his campaign who uses that information against Palin. He said family members were off limits.

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We wholeheartedly agree; it was a personal family issue and should be off limits.

That was a classy response from Obama.

However, we’re sure that not all of his future responses, or all of McCain’s future responses, (and especially not the responses of their supporters), will be as respectable as they fight for the presidency.

That’s why we want to encourage Moffat County voters to find a computer with Internet access and start researching these candidates, their platforms, their plans, the issues and the stories behind the 30-second and one-minute campaign ads on TV – both from the candidates and other special interest groups.

If you haven’t registered to vote, then hurry up and do so. The deadlines are quickly approaching.

To our local political party leaders, we ask you to get your message out loud and clear. If you are having events or have campaign information to distribute, publicize that fact as much as possible.

The better informed we can get, the better we’ll be as voters. And the more we find out for ourselves and avoid relying on TV commercials for our candidate information, the better we’ll be prepared when we fill out a ballot – paper or electronic, early or on Nov. 4 – for this year’s general election.

If there’s one thing we can be certain of, it’s that we won’t all vote the same – even we Editorial Board members disagree, politically. However, what we should be able to be certain of is that we all need to vote in order for our democracy to work.

So if you want to avoid the mud, then go ahead and turn off your TV for the next few months. But check into the candidates through other means, and then make sure to weigh in on Nov. 4.

Vote for McCain-Palin, Obama-Biden, or someone else as you see fit. Just vote.