Personal attacks have no place in our political discourse

Thu, 2017-11-02

Election Day — Tuesday, Nov. 7 — is right around the corner for numerous municipal offices, school bonds and levies and other issues. Before you know it, news from the statehouse will be in the forefront as the 2018 legislative session kicks off in January. Idaho’s Democrats will be pursuing a dynamic agenda aimed at providing educational opportunities for all Idahoans, improving our low-wage economy and defending Idaho’s public lands. While our colleagues will no doubt debate us on many issues (and they can expect a robust debate in response), we are making this pledge to every Idahoan: We will fight for the issues that provide opportunity to all Idahoans, but we will not engage in personal attacks on fellow lawmakers.

It seems silly that we should have to put this in print. However, the reality is that all you have to do is turn on the television or radio, browse through a newspaper or read a social media feed these days, and within a few minutes you will find some politician or political group lobbing a personal attack against another. These attacks divide our nation, our state and our communities to the point where neighbors can’t talk about important issues for fear of starting an argument. With Idaho struggling to educate its citizens and get people into high-paying jobs, elected officials can ill afford to spend their time taking potshots at one another. Personal attacks do nothing to solve Idaho’s problems. If anything, they make them worse.