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Reject negative campaign tactics and those who use them

August 9, 2013
Cape Coral Daily Breeze

To the editor:

There exists a disturbing trend involving campaign strategy and a method of governing which when utilized in the recent past has literally transformed our fine community into a target of ridicule across all of Southern Florida. The campaign strategy/method of governing I am referring to are more commonly known as the "politics of destruction" and usually only prevalent to this extent on the national stage, or in major cities. However, a small group in the midst of our community has elevated the viciousness associated with such a campaign strategy/method of governing to an all new high, (or should I say low), over the course of the last four years never before witnessed within our city's borders prior to their emergence.

Most everyone reading this letter knows the group I am alluding to and, if not for a reinvigorated, or should I say "an infuriated" citizenry casting votes during the last election cycle they would still enjoy power to this very day.

Viewing them through the lens of a Conservative Republican they have left me wholly dismayed that they would dare identify themselves with the same political ideology and principles which I adhere to. They made a mockery of my values and beliefs when they held power. I say this due to the fact their exhibited actions do not reflect any of the core principles I identify with. In fact, due to their abhorrent campaign style and destructive style of governing they have most likely poisoned the political waters for any self-respecting conservative who wishes to run for a local council seat in the foreseeable future regardless of how potentially beneficial such a man/woman could be for our community, that in and of itself is a shame.

It is easy to recognize the "politics of destruction" when they are put into practice by those who consciously choose to apply such tactics. The one glaring "tell" is that the practitioner goes after his/her opponent on a personal as well as a political level, often highlighting non-related negatives, personal missteps, or simply outright lying about their opponent in order to advance their cause or candidacy. In other words, they do everything in their power to deflect from the fact they themselves offer no real solutions to bring to the table. They'll gladly tell you why you "should not" elect the "other guy/woman," but more often than not will never highlight why you "should" elect them over their opponent.

This, (above all), is due to the fact they generally have nothing to offer from day one, save a negative mindset. This particular group I write of attempted to paint several other distinct groups within our community as evil simply due to the fact the other groups had the audacity not to agree with their heavy handed philosophy, or should I say "like mindedness." Upon gaining power this "like minded" cabal took great joy in sowing the seeds of mistrust between city government and the citizenry with an almost giddy reckless abandon, especially in arenas which did not call for such sentiment to exist.

Looking back it's easy for one to see how they attempted to make their own candle burn brighter; not by submitting and implementing fresh new solutions, but by trying to extinguish the candle of anyone holding an opposing point of view. This group appears to genuinely relish an opponent's personal/professional misfortune whether it occurs inside or outside the political realm. In fact, it looks as if they revel in it. Often this group cannot wait to "leak" such information to the local media, or simply rush to put it on the rumor wire, often without verifying such accusations.

We must not allow the "politics of destruction" to rise again in our community. In case you haven't been paying attention lately, those vanquished in the last election, (along with their ardent supporters), are now once again emerging from the shadows to bang their drums of dissention and negativity. The only aspect which is different this time around is the moniker they choose to use in identifying themselves. All in all it's the same cast of characters using the same style, but with a newly packaged name. Yes, they are gleefully dusting off the old tactics that delivered them power a few short years ago. That, in essence, is the one and only way they can possibly hope to prevail this upcoming election cycle. They are banking on the fact the electorate is gullible enough to once again believe scores of false accusations, skewed numbers, innuendos, and in some cases outright lies. In other words, they need the electorate to buy into the venom, again. "Once bitten, twice shy" should be the predominant mindset held by the electorate this time around concerning this group.

I respectfully request that we all decline the invitation to stoop to their level. Do not ignore their presence or tactics, for that would be foolish on anyone's part to do so. Be very, very aware of what they do. However, let the negativity they attempt to cultivate for the sole purpose of advancing "their" cause fall upon deaf ears this time around. Meet such accusations with facts at every turn and they will once again be exposed, just as they were in the very recent past. Sooner or later the dissention they peddle will consume them from within, as it inevitably does to all those who utilize such tactics. I implore every citizen who reads this letter to be vigilant; our community's future depends upon it.

Jim Angiulo

Cape Coral



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