Countering Negativity in Political Campaigns
Lampman, Jane, The Christian Science Monitor
A Christian Science perspective.
Electing a president and Congress is perhaps the most consequential political step Americans take. A campaign should help voters make genuinely informed choices. Yet 50 percent of Americans already say the campaign has been too negative. Ad trackers confirm that perception, finding that 72 percent of political ads thus far have been negative - and nastier than in the past. In addition, falsehoods about candidates' pasts and policies circulate widely online and in e-mails, misleading those who take them in.
Nothing should prevent candidates from making the best case for themselves, presenting their experience and positions and pointing out distinctions between themselves and other candidates. But deliberate misrepresentation and the use of inflammatory language run contrary to basic moral principles: Do not bear false witness; do not steal; do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Is that too much to expect of politics?
For some, politics is a tough business that requires "the low road" to achieve success. But Christian Science offers a very different perspective. "Whatever brings into human thought or action an element opposed to Love, is never requisite, never a necessity, and is not sanctioned by the law of God, the law of Love," writes its founder, Mary Baker Eddy ("The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany," pp. 278-279).
The truth is there are not two realities, one righteous and one corrupt. There is one Life governed by just and ever-operative divine laws, which, when applied, harmonize and redeem human experience.
Mrs. Eddy saw her revelation of these laws as providing the means to help "take away the sins of the world" ("Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," p. 150). She envisioned that each upright individual would be a "public-spirited citizen" ("Miscellaneous Writings 1883-1896," p. 147).
Through wholehearted devotion to the supremacy of divine Mind, which governs all and expresses itself perpetually in individual consciousness, it's possible to change the current atmosphere for the better. …