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Inquiring Minds: Smear campaigns and how to approach this election

The midterm elections of 2006 will be some of the most important in recent years. With hot topics like immigration, same-sex marriage and the war in Iraq, it is important that student voters know the candidates and the issues.

This is why we think the smear campaigns currently being run by candidates against each other are so damaging. And why we think voters should make an extra effort to be aware of the issues, rather than the character flaws, represented by each candidate.

Presenting only negative points of the opposing campaign is an age- old trick that must end. We want to hear about the good ideas and reforms that campaigns are planning rather than the miscues and mistakes of the other.

And we, as voters, deserve to know. The candidates we vote into office are going to be involved in making policies that will shape the direction of this nation for years to come. We need to know they will vote the way we want them to.

Knowing that Virginia Senate candidate Jim Webb wrote novels with sex scenes is irrelevant in light of these issues. What is relevant is how he has voted on same-sex marriages in the past and what his claims are for those marriages in the future. What is relevant is what he thinks we should do about the war in Iraq, and whether or not the United States should take a strong stand against illegal immigrants.

We thus ask students to consider the issues, not the character smears that are so prevalent. We ask that students look beyond the attacks politicians are making on each other. We cannot vote intelligently as long as the two parties continue to bicker and fight each other for supremacy among voters.

It is time that we put down any preconceived notions about both parties and vote for the best candidate, not the one who comes out least dirty after all the mud has been flung.

Inquiring Minds is the collective opinion of the editorial staff and not necessarily representative of the entire staff. It is written by the managing editor and the editor-in-chief.

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