We cannot ignore that we are living in a time of tremendous division, nationally and locally. Our last several elections have been blame-filled, mudslinging, hateful events full of smear-campaigns designed to not only cause their targets to lose the election, but to harm them personally and even professionally.
The mistruths, gross exaggerations, and outright lies that have been spread during past elections even extended beyond the candidates themselves, as many ads began to include the candidate’s family members in their hate-driven propaganda.
Aren’t we better than this?
Our community showed its ability to set differences aside and come together in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael. It was a beautiful example of unity, compassion, and selflessness. It was a time that many people believed was a turning point, a flipping of the switch from contention and divisiveness to understanding and tolerance.
Unfortunately, current events have caused emotions to run high, leading to the fracturing of our community yet again. Recent forums and mailers already show this election season to be headed toward the negativity that has permeated our last elections.
Let’s take a stand.
As elected officials and candidates, let’s set an example. Let’s do what we can to prevent this election and future elections from being vicious, name-calling personal attacks.
Let’s talk about the issues and the ideas and opinions of the candidates. Let’s encourage a good, clean race in which the issues are at the forefront. Let’s foster healthy debate, not schoolyard bullying.
I will do my part. Will you?
I pledge to the people of Okaloosa County that I will encourage discussion and debate but will not participate in personal attacks designed to harm a candidate’s campaign.
I ask you, my fellow elected officials and candidates, to make your own similar pledge. Together we can make a difference.
Prebble Q. Ramswell, Councilwoman/Mayor Pro Tem, Destin