Student ‘disappointed’ in political tactics

by Tracy Sibbell

I am a senior political science major, and I hate the current system of political elections.

We have reached the point where presidential nominee campaigns now start well over a year and a half before the actual election. While I am the type of person who likes to gather as much information as possible before making a decision, I am convinced that I can learn the same amount of information about a candidate in six months as I can in 18.

I suppose I should be lucky to study politics in Iowa. Candidates swarm here to gain our attention and beat out their opponents in our caucus.

I am proud of Iowa’s status among caucus states, but could do without the constant stream of political advertisements, commercials, posters, TV interviews and speeches that consume the media for such a long time but say little about the candidates actual positions or realistic plans for government.

People should want to know what is going on around the country and world instead of learning about every minor indiscretion a candidate may or may not have committed.

Secondly, why must candidates, and those who support them, spend vast amounts of money in order to gain Americans’ attention? My attention would be grabbed if a candidate took some of the money that was donated to their campaign and did something worthwhile with it.

Has anyone noticed that our country has a massive debt problem? While it is not a serious to think that candidates could donate their campaign funds to help the government, it would definitely make me take a second look at them.

Perhaps they could advocate for a particular charity or organization that could use the money. Citizens have the right to donate money to campaigns; without some money, we would never find anything out about the candidates, as they do need to publicize themselves.

However, in all seriousness, the fact that it takes an enormous amount of money to run a successful campaign should tell us that something must be wrong with the way campaigns are run. It seems unnecessary for a person to have to raise so much money to prove they deserve to be president.

Political campaigns are very interesting to study, but I am disappointed with the tactics politicians use in their aids to slam other candidates. If the election season was shorter, we could focus more on the issues at hand instead of delving into the candidates’ personal lives and minor mistakes.

Who hasn’t made a mistake or done something they wish they could take back? Candidates need to be up front with shortcomings rather than havingthe media or their opponents digging up skeletons in the closet. 

It is also disappointing that we are engrossed in tearing down candidates and pinning them against each other. There are many issues pressing in our country now; I would like to learn more about them and the actual plans candidates have to address them.

We shouldn’t be tolerant of plans that would maybe only work if Congress favored them and everything else lined up. I want an actual plan that can be passed in Congress that will have an effect.

A candidate may have the perfect plan, but until it is actually capable of being implemented, I would advise candidates to keep thinking or start to actualy compromise. Trying to get anything significant done in Congress has turned into a child’s fight of declaring the other person wrong and refusing to budge from their position.

Remember presidential candidates: there is not much you can do without Congress’ agreement, except fight.

Tracy is a senior political science and philosophy major. She is active in Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority and Pre-Law Society.