A bit of a crazy thing is going on near me. Just across the river in Kansas City, Missouri, the public is about to elect a new mayor. The race is between Sly James, an attorney, and Mike Burke, an attorney. They have participated in a primary in which James won by a slight margin. Burke came in second, so the two are going into a run-off. None of this seems very unusual. It shouldn’t. Today the day before the election an attack ad ran on TV against Sly James and a flyer was sent out attacking Mike Burke. Not so surprising that the mudslinging would ramp up the day before the election, is it?
This is where it gets very, very unusual. Both candidates denounced the attacks against the other. That’s right. Both candidates came out against the ads meant to help them win. This isn’t surprising in this particular campaign. The entire campaign has been very positive. The candidates have not attacked each other. In fact they have both praised each other. The pointed out that the city would not be harmed by their opponent, merely it would be better off with them. The entire debate hasn’t been about the evils of the other side. It has been about how one approach is better than another. It has been a debate that says both candidates want to make the city better. They just have different ideas on the best way to do it, and the public should decide. In fact, both candidates have said their opponents could play a very positive role in their administrations. This has been the debate that we should be having in every election.
Kansas City’s mayoral election is an example of where we need to go as a country. The outgoing mayor, Mark Funkhauser, was very controversial, and it appears that the people are fed up. They wanted a race that was about ideas not attacks. According to FOX4 in Kansas City the final debate between the two candidates was a light-hearted give and take. When was the last time you saw that in a political debate.
We need to look at Kansas City’s election as an example. If people demand real ideas and not just baseless attacks, the political climate of this country will improve and we will all be better served by our elected officials.