The losers in this election
The country and Colorado will somehow muddle through with a Sen. Allard or Sen. Strickland, Rep. Hume or Rep. Udall.
Eagle County crime-fighting will proceed under a Sheriff Hoy or Sheriff Kaufman. And the Avon Town Council won’t burst into flames with two council member Buckleys continuing service.
Good, thoughtful, committed – though hardly perfect – people will win in each of the above races. Their approaches, ideology, balance of strengths and weaknesses all differ, of course. But contrary to some of the pejorative campaigning in each of the above races, none of these candidates quite qualifies as Satan’s cousin.
What’s damaging in the longer run is the curse of the zealots who go below the belt in the name of their candidate, losing all perspective right about now. The ads that exaggerate or twist truth into deceit; the leaked gossiping about private lives, fluffed up to sound just as awful as possible – this is the small-minded stuff that erodes our political system. “Politics” should be a high calling, to the highest service to community, not cause for shrugs of disgust.
This crap may be over the hill and gone on the national level, and perhaps even at the state level. But locally, the community ought to have the wherewithal to convince the campaigners to just knock it off.
The candidates’ true positions are different enough to highlight and draw comparisons. Ancient personal history very seldom, short of a genuine criminal record, has much to do with public service. Of the unfortunate stuff thrown at some of the candidates, none of it was relevant other than as attempts to help the other candidate “win.”
Whoever wins, the loser was the process and the people turned off to the whole nasty business of campaigns gone sour.
Eagle County residents do not have to have election seasons like this one. But that will require people at the root of the crappy stuff to look long and hard in the mirror, along with the message that the truly negative stuff isn’t the path to victory. We can do better than this. We have to.
On the referee front: Commissioner Tom Stone apologized for the wording of an ad claiming he led the drive to get teachers more pay and tried Saturday to kill the ad. Unfortunately, he didn’t reach anyone who could help over the weekend. He took responsibility Monday for the ad getting in, and made sure this one would not run again today, though he said that he didn’t get a chance to check it personally beforehand and that “led” was not the right word. “helped with” or “supported” would have done the trick.