Candidates should avoid mud-slinging, act mature

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The primaries are entering their second month and already the mud is slinging harder than ever. It’s Clinton vs. Obama, McCain vs. Romney and all the nobodies fighting for scraps.

Now that the fate of all the candidates is being decided within the primaries, it will be typical for surviving candidates to unleash smear tactics. Unfortunately, two popular candidates with the Republican Party managed to pull my strings last week. In the closing days of the Florida primaries, Republicans Sen. John McCain, of Arizona, and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney were at each other’s throats for the Sunshine State. However, in a desperate attempt to win just a few more votes, both sought their trump cards when it came to political smearing.

On Jan. 28, The Associated Press reported Romney dubbed McCain’s policies on energy, immigration and campaign finance reform liberal.

In response, McCain responded to a group of reporters in Jacksonville, “As the liberal governor of Massachusetts, he raised taxes by $730 million.”

Way to be patriots, guys.

I’m not sure when “liberal” and “conservative” became bad words in this country. But I know when it exploded not too long ago, and now both wings tend to use those words when defaming political opponents. I’m sick of it.

Just to balance out the issue, let’s look to the Left. There’s our girl, Hillary Clinton, New York senator and presidential hopeful for the Democratic Party. If there’s one thing about Clinton I’ve noticed, she’s not subtle with her opinions of the Republican Party. On the contrary, I’m sure we all remember the Monica Lewinsky scandal. In defense of her husband, Clinton mentioned to Matt Lauer on the Today Show on Jan. 27, 1998, her concerns with the “vast right-wing conspiracy” against her husband. Now you’d think she was finished there, so many years ago when her husband left office.

Think again.

“For 15 years I have stood up against the right-wing machine, and I’ve come out stronger,” Clinton said at a Democratic debate in 2007. “So if you want a winner who knows how to take them on, I’m your girl.”

So if I am correct, when looking at their track records, McCain, Romney and Clinton have proven to us through their smears and their partisan claims that they are willing to single out half the country once they are in office.

What’s there to say? Like any other American, I’m fed up with those two words, “liberal” and “conservative.” It’s one move for a blogger or even a political pundit to use the words in jest. But when presidential candidates pull such moves in a time during which politics is more polarized than ever, red flags need to go up.

Honestly, the candidates simply need to leave the “liberal” and “right-wing machine” smears to FOX News and MSNBC. Bottom line: America needs not only a responsible leader in the White House who will be a good leader to all Americans, but also an adult.

Grady Bolding is a junior in theater. Please send comments to [email protected]

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