It’s Friday – time for our next guest blog. We’ll continue the series with our friend, Paul Smith. Enjoy!

The November 2010 elections are right around the corner, which means an increase in the frequency of political ads.Why?Because most voters don’t make up their mind of which candidate they are going to support until very close to the election.This results in candidates working double time during those golden weeks before the election to make an impact.

Unfortunately, there will be candidates who become so desperate to be noticed that they will resort to tactics that are less than civil.Some may even believe that the only way for their star to rise is if they can bad-mouth their opponent enough to bring them down.The results, all too often, are attack ads from both sides with each ad sinking lower than the last.

I’m reminded of John F. Kennedy’s admonishment: “So let us begin anew – remembering on both sides that civility is not a sign of weakness, and sincerity is always subject to proof.”When he spoke these words, our nation was divided by deep emotional scars; not all that different from today.

Thankfully we do have one key difference today; we have a generation who have learned what true character really is through the Character Counts program.This generation, many of whom may not quite yet be of voting age, is now able to spot qualities such as: honesty, loyalty, good manners, self-control, personal responsibility, compassion, forgiveness, and respect.

Thanks to the Character Counts program, this generation is able to recognize the unfortunate weaknesses many who are running for office this fall will reveal; even as they spot the truly strong ones: the ones who consistently practice the civility that Kennedy spoke of.

I look for the day when this Character Counts trained generation can truly bring civility back to the political arena.

Tell us what you think!
Anonymous says:

Very well written! I couldn't agree more. If the politicians would actually talk about what they are going to do rather than what their opponent isn't, I would actually not turn the channel so quickly when I see one of their ads and listen to what they have to say.. Thank you. Joy :)

Richard S Deems says:

Nice job, Paul! I lived in Iowa for over 20 years, and am very disappointed in the comments and beliefs of a number of candidates. They do no represent the Iowa I know and love.

Helene Bergren says:

Valid points here, Paul. We frequently see political ads with such disrespectful tones, and misleading information, playing out the very behaviors we wouldn't want our children to display. We as adults (and ultimately, the next generation) will benefit if we use the Six Pillars of Character as a guide to evaluate candidates, partly based on what political ads they allow to go public.

Anonymous says:

Well said! I look forward to a time when graciousness and civility are embraced yet again. Thumper's mother said it best: If you can't say something nice, then don't say nothing at all." (Of course, that's a double negative, but you get the point.) Our greatest lessons are learned when we are children – how to share, how to respect, how to treat people.

Anonymous says:

Very well said!!

Anonymous says:

I agree! Politics have gotten to the point that it seems the parties disagree with each other simply because they think they have to. There is so little compromise anymore. I hope our younger generations can change this mindset.

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