You are a bad person… Just believe me!
For those that know me, I’ve been a bit of a political follower most of my life. Those closest to me know which side of the aisle I choose the majority of the time. This recent election campaign has been ugly and brutal. I will also say that it has not been one sided. Everyone has participated in the ugliness.
Recently, I had a conversation with an elected official who I know, trust and support. I asked this person why every candidate has to be so negative and does the negativity really work? The response was that recent studies and data show that if a candidate only takes the high road they will likely lose. The more that I think about this, the more it bothers me. Unfortunately, it tells me where we are as Americans these days. I will also say that this isn’t something new. It’s been going on for decades, but it just gets more ramped up each and every election cycle.
My lovely bride and I have two adult children and no grandchildren...yet! I don’t lose much sleep when I see ad after ad after ad of one politician (or outside organization) taking another person to the lowest possible denominator and in many cases far beyond that. I shake my head and sometimes just start laughing...for you younger people that would be an LOL. Many times say kiddingly “Oh my gosh! If this person gets elected we will all die!”
I feel very sorry for those young families with impressionable kids watching this crap all day long. Many parents work so hard to bring their kids up in a respectful and hardworking environment. We tell kids to respect their elders, but at the same time their elders are acting more childish than my kids did when I told them they couldn’t have a toy when they were 5 years old.
So what do we tell our kids? Don’t pay attention to the government officials? Do we tell them that they don’t really mean what they’re saying? Do we tell them that this is just how it is in America? Do we tell them not to act like this?
I love free speech, but with that comes responsibility. It saddens me to think that in order to get elected in our country, one must spend millions tearing apart another person…sometimes even their family. This isn’t a Republican or Democrat thing. It has turned into an American thing, and it’s something this 55 year old person isn’t very proud of.
Scott Huedepohl is the President of Community State Bank, and has been a community banker for over 30 years.