To the Editor:
I am a politician — a local one — and while I make jokes about politics, I take the work seriously because it’s an opportunity to make changes that benefit people. To get elected, I talked about ideas and walked all over my community, knocking on doors and dodging the occasional dog that figured I was invading its territory. Four other people were in the race with me. Not once did I say anything negative about them. They were all good people and had their own ideas. What we had was a contest of ideas.
That’s what politics should be. But the political landscape in Western North Carolina has turned nasty. To get elected, a few candidates are willing to say almost anything about their opponent. Truth has become a victim, and in that way so are voters who are often forced to hold their nose and choose between candidates who would prefer to slam each other with personal attacks rather than be responsible for their own ideas.
Those of us who live in the N.C. 50th Senatorial District, however, have a much clearer choice this year. Sen. Jim Davis, R-Franklin, the incumbent, got elected with outsider’s money paying for literature that said that his last opponent, John Snow, favored abortion. John Snow did not favor abortion, but the truth got smothered with last-minute mailings and we got Jim Davis in Raleigh.
This year, Davis is at it again. This time he’s even sneakier. His outside money is paying for a telephone “political survey” that is designed to paint a negative picture about his opponent, Jane Hipps. If you get a call from these people, they will ask you if you would vote for someone who is quoted as saying that she will raise taxes and cut funding to schools.
Saying that Jane Hipps will raise taxes and cut funding to schools is about like saying Thomas Wolfe couldn’t write. This absurdity is mind numbing. Jane has spent almost 40 years as an educator in North Carolina. The absurdity becomes ridiculous when we know that it was Jim Davis who raised taxes (on 137 items and services that we use) and cut the school budget to where it is one of the lowest in the nation.
Should you get a call from Jim Davis’ bogus pollsters, be prepared to tell them that you won’t be led by lies and half-truths. Tell them that when Jim Davis learns to tell the truth and talk about ideas, then you will listen … but by then the election will be over.