By HDN Staff
Judging from the response of people in the area, there's just a bit too much negative campaigning going on this election year.
When asked what they thought about the campaign for the on-the-street feature, those who said they have seen anything have noticed, and been disturbed by, negative attacks and what they see as untruths by candidates.
Perhaps the nastiest campaign in Montana is between our U.S. Senate candidates, incumbent Republican Conrad Burns and Democratic challenger Brian Schweitzer.
That campaign has degenerated into a name-calling and insult session, often with statements taken out of context or downright untruths. Even when making what could be legitimate points and arguments, the candidates seem to need to make them in an insulting, degrading manner.
Is it really an attack on Schweitzer's claims that the pharmaceutical industry is overcharging U.S. citizens to have breast cancer survivors misrepresent his position? Is it really an attack on Burn's claim that Schweitzer accepts contributions from the pharmaceutical industry he is attacking by implying that Burns isn't intelligent enough to understand the issues?
Both sides seem intent on insulting each other out of the race, instead of discussing the issues and refuting, or even addressing, each other's claims and arguments. It is interesting that in today's politics, a candidates' response to being called a "smart ass thug," which Burns' representative called Schweitzer, is to call Burns a bully who has to "lie and call names," as Schweitzer did.
Where are the responses to the questions each is asking? Even when they do answer, it is so couched in insults and often half- or untruths, the answer is hard to make out.
The questions themselves are becoming hard to make out as well.
These candidates are not only insulting each other, they are insulting the voters of Montana. And while their campaign is incredibly easy to point this out in, they are not the only candidates doing it. Come on, do our voters a favor and debate the issues, not each other's personalities.