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Over the years every time I watched a negative political advertisement filled with personal attacks, I wondered how much, if any, of the contents was true.
And if any was, how much of the message was a distortion of the truth. If John Spratt’s ads are used as a measure, there is not much truth and a whole lot of distortion.
I have always believed that when a politician runs negative ads that personally attack his opponent, the politician is really saying, “I cannot give the voters any good reason to elect me, so I must give them a reason, made up or otherwise, not to elect my opponent” ,or “You might think I’m really bad, but I’m not as bad as my opponent”.
That was not John Spratt in his first 14 elections, but things have surely changed. We all knew John had changed in his politics and governing philosophy.
This is the first election since 1982 that John has not proudly campaigned on his record, pointed to his votes and explained why the legislation was good for the people in our district.
In the past, John’s ads would have been touting his votes over the last two years: for the bailouts, for the Cap and Trade energy tax, for the stimulus package, for the health care bill, and against staying in Washington to vote on an extension of at least some of the Bush-era tax cuts. But not this time.
John Spratt has changed. The recent Spratt approved ad regarding Edenmoor personally attacking Mick Mulvaney, I know to be false and completely misleading. I believe in my heart that John knows that as well.
Is holding on to a congressional seat worth sacrificing one’s integrity, honor and honesty? Is serving one more term worth damaging an image that has taken a lifetime to establish?
Call me politically naïve, or say “it’s just politics,” but I never would have thought that about John Spratt. I thought he was different.
After seeing that ad and knowing the actual truth, I can’t say that anymore.
Apparently being in Washington, D.C., too long can change even a good man like John Spratt. This is not the John Spratt I admired in 1982, and voted for 14 times.
I knew John had changed, but am truly saddened to find that his change includes things which are far more important than politics.
We can all have honest disagreements about politics, but surely we can all agree that it is of the utmost importance to be completely truthful in our words and deeds. What a disappointment.