Hey candidates, voters want the truth. Don’t insult our intelligence with your ads | Opinion

September 22, 2020 6:30 am

WASHINGTON, DC – AUGUST 27: A screen displays the campaign banner for U.S. President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence following Trump’s acceptance speech for the Republican presidential nomination on the South Lawn of the White House August 27, 2020 in Washington, DC. Trump gave the speech in front of 1500 invited guests. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

By Jill Sunday Bartoli

Too many of the comments of politicians and their political ads are insulting to the intelligence of our community and our country.

Defending the distortion of truth about the pandemic, supposedly to not  ”scare” us, assumes that we lack the intelligence to deal with the truth. Meanwhile, responsible and respectful leaders in other countries fully informed their people so they could all work together to defeat the common enemy—the Corona virus. Telling us half-truths or outright lies assumes that we need a dictatorial father figure to think for us and control us—someone who is supposedly much smarter and knows what is “best” for us.

The people I know and grew up with don’t want leaders to pat them on the head and tell them lies “for their own good.”

They want leaders who speak the truth, bring us together as the United States of America and call on our best combined work and wisdom so that, together, we can build a country capable of defeating great threats to our lives.

Had that happened at the beginning of the threat of the pandemic, we would not have lost nearly two hundred thousand lives, and we would be closer to being a united country, inspired by the power of our combined efforts.

The sheep-like following of half-truths and lies by politicians who refuse to stand up for the truth is another insult to our intelligence.

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A recent ad took a simplistic either-or/ right-wrong  approach to dealing with violence at the hand of the police.  Assuming we voters are too simple minded to understand complex serious solutions, the ad suggested an apocalyptic state of chaos and violence resulting from listening to the cries of those calling for change.

We will never progress if we reduce solutions to simple either-or/ black-white oppositional extremes. Good solutions demand listening to all voices respectfully, finding the good and bad points in each other’s ideas, and working collaboratively to find the best solution.

We know who is respectfully representing us and who thinks about we the people rather than the political advantage of defending their leader. And we all need to be united in voting for those candidates known for telling us the unaltered truth, respecting our intelligence and building a country united by our common values and the common good of all of its citizens.

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I grew up in rural Cumberland County and attended a one-room schoolhouse for my first three years of school, along with other rural kids who came from farms.

If politicians think rural voters are too dumb to know what the truth is, they need to think again. Farmers have used cutting edge science to produce their crops and grow their livestock. They know about climate change because they live it daily.

We want the truth. Don’t insult our intelligence.

Opinion contributor Jill Sunday Bartoli writes from Carlisle, Pa. Her work appears occasionally on the Capital-Star’s Commentary Page.

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