Editorial: Calling on candidates, voters to shun divisiveness in campaigns
We asked suburban voters to start 2020 by pledging to be informed and engaged in preparing for the March 17 primary election. Now, we have a proposition for anyone whose name is on the ballot -- vow to be candidates who stick to the issues.
We want candidates who will eschew the loud and angry tribalism that has caused such deep divisions and gridlock in this country and instead strive to develop important positions that address problems and improve communities.
What voters need right now is less rhetoric, a lower volume and the ditching of misleading attack ads. We need more candidates who offer strategies and ideas that rely on true facts and clearly stated issue-based discussions in making their case for support.
And, for Pete's sake, let's stress respect and civility over petty insults and acrimony. The latter approach has caused polarization and division more than it has led to solutions of serious problems.
A few weeks ago, we reminded potential voters that the primary election will offer a chance to request a Republican or Democratic ballot and vote on a host of races at the national (think president and Congress), state (your House and Senate legislative district reps in Springfield) and local levels (county board and other countywide offices, such as state's attorney and coroner).
The winners from each primary will face off in the general election in November. Strong candidates coming out of the primaries will give voters solid choices in selecting the best and brightest to hold elected office for the next two, four or six years, depending on the race.
We underscore those points to candidates. The relationship between them and voters is symbiotic. It produces the best results when voters are prepared and engaged and candidates offer workable solutions.
The fact is there are a great many serious issues at all levels of government to be addressed -- from gun control, health care and immigration at the federal level to pension obligations and attracting more business and jobs at the state level to how tax dollars are spent on roads and education at the local level. What is needed now more than ever is true leadership in ideas and deeds that respects all and unites entire communities rather than pushing the notion of one side must win so the other side must lose.
Let's start now to forge a new path forward.