It's been said: "When you throw mud at someone, you're the one who's losing ground."

No wonder politicians are often so little regarded. It seems during election campaigns, the mud catapults are the only things potential voters see. They aren't fed solid platforms. They learn little about the backgrounds of the candidates.

This isn't true in every case, but in too many.

Think about the candidates running in Tuesday's election. Do you know their platforms? Or do you think of Candidate A as a bigger knucklehead than Candidate B because of the literature you received or the ads you've viewed?

Two candidates slug it out, down and dirty, and make each other look second class. How are we supposed to respect the winner after the election?

Understandably it's been like this probably since the beginning of the election process.

Only during political campaigns are lies and libel considered the norm.

And let's face it, would the masses be as captivated it it were a dry, honest campaign?

Also, how many politicians would be elected if they came out and said point blank that they have no choice but to raise taxes; or that they will work to eliminate tax credits across the board and make taxation a little fairer?

What kind of example are our political leaders setting for young people? Is the motto: Do unto others before they do onto you? Are politicians teaching young people that the way to get ahead is to be as brutal verbally as possible?

The above is only food for thought. Political campaigns aren't going to change. The politicians will continue to do what they feel they must to win office, even if it means cutting their opponent to shreds through exaggerations, distorting facts, and taking things out of context.

For most people, it's a relief when election day comes; when the campaign negativity ends.

Hopefully, you will vote on Tuesday not on the accusations candidates made against each other, but on what you actually know about their platforms and background.

By RON GOWER

rgower@tnonline.com [1]