Dear Presidential Candidate…

by Larry Hehn on October 23, 2012

finger pointingAs the US presidential race heats up, I find that I’m sneaking a peak at the debates and checking out what each candidate has to say. Being Canadian, I won’t have a vote in this election, but I do have something I’d like to say to the candidates.

I’ve only seen bits and pieces of what each has been doing and saying in order to sway voters their way.

But for the most part, I’ve been cringing.

Because they don’t seem to be all that interested in letting us know why we should vote for them. They seem to be more interested in letting us know why we shouldn’t vote for their opponent.

It’s the same here in Canada. Over the years, each party has spent a great deal of time, money and effort telling voters how bad the other parties and candidates are, but very little revealing how their own party could be of service.

Wouldn’t it be refreshing if political campaigns and other forms of advertising were based solely on solutions rather than comparisons?


“Do not vote for this man. Why, he’s almost as corrupt as I am!”

I’ve seen political candidates, soft drink manufacturers, fast food franchises, auto manufacturers and a host of other industries try to win us over to their product by detracting from their competition rather than simply promoting their own merits.

Have we fallen victim to this kind of thinking in our own lives? Do we justify or mask our efforts by comparing them with the failures of others? Do we use our words to tear others down rather than build each other up?

Dear Presidential Candidate,

If you want to earn my vote, don’t worry about telling me how wrong the other candidate is for the job. Just tell me how right you are for the job. There is  still a chance that you may not earn my vote, but you will have earned my respect.



P.S. If you run into those other advertisers too, please pass it on!

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. – Ephesians 4:29

How much more likely are you to support a candidate that runs a positive campaign?

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Juan Cruz Jr October 23, 2012 at 6:46 pm

Larry, I am more likely to vote for a candidate that runs a positive campaign, in addition to having a plan. I don’t want generalizations, I want specific actions that the candidate would do to make the lives of their constituents better. I really detest the back-biting, disrespect, and the tearing of each other down. It doesn’t give me any confidence that either candidate can fight for our good, when engaged in that type of behavior.
Juan Cruz Jr recently posted..Leading Posts for the week of 10/15My Profile


Larry Hehn October 24, 2012 at 9:16 am

Amen, Juan!


Carol Rives October 24, 2012 at 9:05 am

Larry, I am soooooooo much more likely to vote for a positive respectful individual. It also helps if their values and concerns align with mine, overall!!! I watch the debates for several reasons: 1) to hear the candidates platform, and to listen for their consistency, and 2) to observe how they treat one another; are they somewhat respectful or indignant. No doubt, a debate is greatly for show, but I feel that it can give some light onto a person’s character.
Carol Rives recently posted..An Unspoken Promise ~My Profile


Larry Hehn October 24, 2012 at 9:18 am

Right on, Carol. It’s possible to disagree with someone but still treat them with respect. I look for that too.


Monique October 24, 2012 at 10:50 am

Funny thing, the election is in the US and I have recieved a couple of calls from one of the parties here in Canada looking for my support. I had to let the person on the other end know they lost my support when they started running ads telling people how bad the other candidate is. AND there is not an election called here in Canada, that I know of.
I would so much prefer a positive campaign! Tell me the great things you can do. That I will listen to.


Larry Hehn October 24, 2012 at 11:20 am

Me too, Monique. Though I’ve been a die-hard conservative for years, I find it hard to support them when they base their campaign mainly on trashing the opposition.


Jon Stolpe October 24, 2012 at 11:00 am

I took a different spin on the whole election thing in a guest post today over at Wisdom of a Fool ( ), but I have to agree with you here. Can’t we be more positive – and productive?!
Jon Stolpe recently posted..The Stretched Blog Visits Wisdom of a FoolMy Profile


Larry Hehn October 24, 2012 at 12:43 pm

Great points in that post, Jon. We are very quick to lampoon our leaders. Some make very good careers at it! Coming alongside them and praying for them will do much more good than bashing. Well said!


tcavey October 24, 2012 at 11:23 am

Great thoughts!
Wish you could run the campaigns. I’m tired of all the negativity. Let’s stop tearing down and start building up!
tcavey recently posted..How to be a Politically Active Christian: GUEST POSTMy Profile


Larry Hehn October 24, 2012 at 1:01 pm

Thank you, TC. Great thoughts at your blog as well. I’m glad you and Jon shared them with us!


Ricky Anderson October 25, 2012 at 9:30 am

We don’t watch live TV anymore, thanks to Netflix and Hulu. This has made this election season bearable.

A candidate running a truly positive campaign? I almost want to say I’d vote for them on that basis alone…
Ricky Anderson recently posted..Pickled Spleen Condition, a Memoir of the Late Alfred P. Bootbonger III, Jr.My Profile


Larry Hehn October 25, 2012 at 10:34 am

My family has been after me to get Netflix for a while now. The point you just made might be the tipping point, Ricky!


Juan Cruz Jr October 25, 2012 at 11:44 am

Larry, get Netflix. It’s awesome. Documentaries, oldies but goodie movies you haven’t seen in years. Pretty cheap subscription as well.
Juan Cruz Jr recently posted..Prioritize – Separate the goats from the sheepMy Profile


Larry Hehn October 25, 2012 at 12:28 pm

Ok, ok, I cave! 🙂


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