The General Election of 2022 is finally over but the stench of verbal character assassination of candidates will fill the political air for a long time.
Now it is time to “power wash” your television because of all the residue it has collected from political commercials that got so nasty that more than a few of our readers told me they muted the audio anytime those commercials aired.
It was like having a skunk in the house!
Millions of dollars were spent on those television commercials in Central Illinois which were mostly produced to demonize an opponent.
Since we go to press with the paper edition of the Decatur Tribune on Tuesday afternoon, before the votes were counted, this column is not about who won or lost in this election. For complete Macon County Election results go to
What I am writing about is that several members of both political parties proved to be embarrassments (at the very least) in their campaigns to those of us who believe in our system of government.
I have covered campaigns and candidates since the 1960s and I have never been more disappointed and disgusted with what I have witnessed this past year in the actions and rhetoric of several candidates.
• THERE are several reasons that candidates in state level races use a lot of television advertising during their campaign, such as area wide coverage when the race includes several counties, the desire to be “television stars”, etc.
Also, it is hard for advertisements against opponents to look as nasty in print as they do on television
Don’t you wonder who the person(s) is who searches for the ugliest photo ever taken of an opponent to use in the television commercial?
Some of those opponent photos in the 2022 campaign were downright spooky!
• I NEVER thought I would be relieved to see more Liberty Mutual and Progressive Insurance (with Flo) commercials on television instead of political commercials, although I have to admit I’m not sure what much of the Liberty and Progressive commercials have to do with insurance. (I’m still trying to figure that out.)
• SINCE the campaigning is over the question that is on everyone’s mind is “Did Senator Doris Turner really use city employees to clean her house?”
Also, I wonder if readers my age did what I did everytime I saw the commercial against Sandy Hamilton, Turner’s opponent in the state senate race.
Every time I saw the words “Sell-Out Sandy” in the commercial the tune of “Polk Salad Annie” by Tony Jo White and later, Elvis Presley, kept running through my mind!
• OFTEN-USED anti-candidate attacks of the campaign in the IL 13 (which involves Decatur and Macon County) included the accusation that Regan Deering was going to do away with Medicare and Social Security — the argument that is always sure to win some votes from senior citizens — even if it wasn’t true.
Social Security is all that many senior citizens have to live on and any talk of taking that away produces instant concern — which is understandable.
Campaign managers know that – which is why those words appeared in many Congressional races…,usually against Republican candidates.
• I WONDER how many lawsuits will be filed by losing candidates who felt they had actually won this election but lost due to voter fraud?
• I WAS discussing the lack of competitive races in our area on Tuesday’s ballot with a local businessman and how the nastiness and character assassination of many of in the last few political races discouraged a lot of good people from running for office.
They don’t want their reputations destroyed, or family members and friends depressed, or worse, through lies from their opponents.
The businessman replied that he wondered about the kind of people who do run for office when they know they and their families will be verbally, and sometimes physically, attacked.
Overall, I’m thankful that citizens (whether I agree with them or not) still step forward and seek political office.
After all, if we are going to exercise our freedom to vote for those who represent us, we must have those who are willing to represent us to step forward for our system to work.
• FOR THE winners in Tuesday’s election, I wish you the best and hope you are very successful in representing the needs and wishes of the people that you will be serving — whether I voted for you or not. If you represent us with honor and effectiveness, we all win.
• I JOIN Brian Byers on WSOY’s Byers & Co. every Thursday morning at 7:00 to discuss the issues of the day.
I always enjoy our discussion of the issues that impact our community.