Ethics: Voters Vs. The Negative Nineties

What to do when campaigns are as nasty as a David Lynch film

American democracy may be the inspiration of the world, but the transcendent spirit has dismally failed to uplift U.S. elections. Once again this year, politics has degenerated into a duel of negative TV spots, even before the desperation tactics that usually erupt in late October. In California, a barrage of blistering commercials in the Governor's race conveys the impression that Charles Keating was a piker in the S&L scandal compared with Republican Pete Wilson and Democrat Dianne Feinstein. Texas voters are so dispirited by the ugliness of the gubernatorial shoot-out that both candidates probably could be defeated by General Santa Anna.


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