Editorial: Run on Your Record

Another election day is just around the corner. Our charge to everyone running for office this Nov. 7 is simple, run on your record.

Political discourse in our country has certainly evolved over the past 18 months. You cannot turn on the national news without being inundated with a new “tweetstorm.” Likewise, you cannot go to an online news site without seeing political stories that are “clickbait,” sensationalized stories and headlines meant for you to click on them.

As a result, the national political debate has been reduced to sound bites, “gotcha” statements and tearing your opponent down rather than building yourself up. This style of politics has no place in our community.

Greenwich prides itself on its community. It is what makes us unique, diversified and always interesting. However, there is one thing that we are intolerant of and that is negative campaigning. It always backfires on those engaging in it.

As residents of a town who care deeply about our community, negative campaigning does not inform us. We want to know where candidates stand on the issues and what their record is. This is not a new concept. President Theodore Roosevelt once said: “A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues.” Yes, but we deserve better.

When candidates go on the attack, it is often because they are hiding something or they feel they have no record to run on. We believe every person has a record they can run on. It can be your involvement in town activities, school PTA’s or even where you have volunteered.

If you are running for re-election, you have your record to run on. If it is your first time running for office, you have your background to run on. In either case, if you are resorting to negative campaigning or intimidation tactics, you are doing yourself a disservice and insulting our intelligence.

In fact, how a person campaigns for office says a lot about how they will perform once in office. From our perspective, candidates who have run on their record and the issues have been more successful once in office in helping our community grow and prosper then those who have not.

Holding office, whether it be as Selectman, Board of Education, Board of Estimate and Taxation or the Representative Town Meeting, is at its core at public trust. We, the voters, want to put into those very important positions people we can trust because they are the ones responsible for maintaining our town, schools, taxes and numerous other aspects of our community.

When we witness a campaign resort to negative campaign tactics, it erodes the concept of public trust. If a candidate cannot be honest and present his record, positions on issues and platform for improving our community then how can we trust that they are the right candidate for that position? The candidate must believe in themselves enough to trust that we, the voters, will make the correct decision on whom to elect.

With less than two weeks to go before the election of our local town government, we encourage all candidates to run on their record and say “no” to negative campaigning.

Your community, your neighbors, will be much more appreciative and willing to listen to your message. We do not need the rancor of negative campaigning taking away from who has the best ideas and platform for moving our town forward for the next two years.

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