Vicious campaign ads

dismayed reader

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

Now that the election is over, I am overjoyed to be free of the avalanche of television ads that have appeared over the past couple of months.

Having been a keen observer of politics for more than 60 years and a teacher of Advanced Placement Government classes for 15 years, I have been dismayed as the tone of our political discourse has turned increasingly nasty.

I thought I had seen the worst of it in the 2016 presidential election. However, I found myself sickened by what we were subjected to over the past two months.

I can't remember a more disgusting parade of attacks, slurs, innuendos, distortions and outright lies that were cast about by candidates for the Virginia Senate and House of Delegates and even local offices. Led somewhat by President Donald Trump's daily tweet barrage of vicious and usually false attacks, our local candidates took political advertising to a new low.

Of all the ads I saw, very few offered reasons to vote for a candidate. Rather, the overwhelming majority told us how corrupt, venal, dishonest or evil the opponent was.

It's no wonder we are so polarized and disgusted with our political leaders and why good people are sitting the process out. I fear for the future of our democracy.

If I weren't such a strong believer in the First Amendment, I think I would require all political ads to be approved by some impartial review body that would vet them for truth, accuracy and simple courtesy.

It's no wonder why our young people can be nasty to their peers and even to their elders. It would be really nice if we could all get in the habit of thinking before we speak.

George Knight.

Providence Forge.

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