When it comes to the special election to replace retired Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in Congressional District 8, I’ve heard a couple statements that have got me to thinking. First, a SaddleBrooke resident told me after reading some political statements having to do with the CD8 race between Ron Barber and Jesse Kelly, “Thelma, I don’t know who to believe.” She keeps up with current events, is responsible in voting and is a good citizen, and yet, she’s put in this position of not knowing who is telling the truth anymore. Her problem is not uncommon, as many voters see the television ads, hear the radio shows, the rhetoric, the back and forth politicking, and they wonder if what they are hearing is the truth.
Candidates change positions whenever the need arises. Then, you throw in the advertising paid for by organizations throwing their support behind their candidate of choice, and the issues get lost in a sea of negative ads, back and forth comments and many confused constituents.
Then, of course, the media is running stories about all of it, and the vicious cycle goes on and on.
I feel for this resident because she’s right, we as citizens no longer know who to trust in the political arena. And frankly, if you are a voter who doesn’t align with your party affiliation, but instead just wants to vote for the candidate who will do the best job, you are in an even tougher position.
Very little is being done in all races to actually restore our faith. For some reason, candidates got this idea that we want to see our mailbox full of the flyers, posters and nonsense. At some point, they told themselves that we watch and soak in the negative television ads. Of course, I think their strategists haven’t considered that many of us fast-forward past the obnoxious attack on the airwaves. The CD8 race right now is a perfect example how obnoxious it’s getting. I can only imagine how bad it’s going to get once the Presidential race really gets heated.
Another statement that worries me came from a man who said he’s just tired of how both candidates have represented themselves in the CD8 race. That statement being, “I am to the point where I am just voting on one of the candidates so I don’t have to vote for the other guy.”
That candidate he is considering voting for is Ron Barber. He absolutely does not want Jesse Kelly representing him in Congress. However, he said he expected more from Ron Barber, and the commercials, campaigning and then him declining to participate in a student-run debate has him wondering how Barber would serve Southern Arizona in Washington.
Looking past his reasoning for not liking Jesse Kelly, this man’s statement struck a cord with me. How often are voters entering the ballot box to not vote on the candidate they believe in, but instead, to vote against the candidate they despise?
This is not exactly a ringing endorsement for Ron Barber. It’s definitely not a vote of confidence in the system.