2012. Another multiple of four, which means it’s an election year. This year’s race for the presidency is between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.
Most Americans, unfortunately, don’t do any research on the political candidates. This means the only information they are using to make their “informed” decision comes from what they see on television.
More likely than not, it is an ad in which Romney or Obama are attacking each other. When did all this start, or more important, why?
The formation of parties goes back to the Jefferson and Adams election. Thomas Jefferson and John Adams were running for president and vice president for the years 1800-1804—back then, whoever lost became vice president. In the midst of a political fight, Jefferson and Adams walked on opposites sides of the street to avoid talking to each other.
Several years later, Abraham Lincoln learned the hard way why bashing someone politically or personally during a campaign can be disastrous. He was acquainted with Mary Todd—later to become Marry Todd Lincoln—who helped him write editorials abusing his political opponent democrat, James Shield.
According to Dr. Samuel Wheeler, author of the blog “Lincoln Studies”, “He [James Shield] became best known for the duel he almost fought against Abraham Lincoln in 1842.”
The story goes that Lincoln and Shield were set to have a dual with broad swords, but luckily, the two came to their senses before any harm was done. Following this incident, Lincoln stuck to politics in the debates—if only he had listened to Washington first.
Unfortunately, not everyone has those values. For instance, there are many commercials making statements about Romney’s tax status. There were advertisements made about Obama’s family being illegal immigrants.
Because so many political ads are not authentic, it’s important to research each candidate thoroughly, not only to understand what the individual stands for, but to choose the best candidate to suit your values.