Our View: Campaign season has been mostly civil; let’s hope it stays that way | TheUnion.com

Our View: Campaign season has been mostly civil; let’s hope it stays that way

Stepping into politics is akin to walking through a hall of mirrors at the fair.

Reality takes a backseat to bizarro world. Normal shapes contort into unnatural forms, morphing from one to another with each passing step.

No one is as you remember them. People you thought were friends have leering smiles. Their motivations flip depending on the direction you take. They disappear when you need them most, leaving you wondering why you entered the building in the first place.

Then June 5 arrives and you step outside, all the twisted shapes left behind.

We’ve been lucky this election season in Nevada County. Sure, there’s been some mud slung but it doesn’t compare with the dirt shoveled in state and federal races.

A few mud pies aside, we’ve experienced fairly civil campaigns. The candidates should be commended for this, but so should the community. After all, politicians take the shape we cast into funhouse mirrors. If we exhibit respect and decorum, it’ll show in those who run for office.

You’ve seen that behavior at the overwhelming number of political forums and debates held this season. The number of events held, and the attendance at them, proves that our community is one of the most politically active in this state. We regularly attain top marks for the number of registered voters who cast ballots. We make a point of educating ourselves about the candidates, and campaigning for those we believe are the best choices for our county.

Incidentally, sign thieves appear to have taken a break this election. One editorial board member said she’s seen fewer signs stolen this cycle than any other.

That’s a testament to our civility, and honestly, to our basic good nature.

We’re fairly evenly split between Republicans and Democrats, liberals and conservatives, but that doesn’t mean we must draw lines in the sand when gathering for our common good.

Maybe that’s because we’re tired of the hateful ads and vicious rhetoric that appeared during the 2016 campaign. More likely it’s linked to our small community.

It’s tougher to view a politician through a misshapen mirror when you shop at the same stores and encounter them on downtown strolls.

These candidates running for local office are friends, business associates and church members. They aren’t caricatures of right and left often seen on the national stage. They’re true reflections of our community who want the best for the people who live here.

We may disagree with a candidate’s beliefs and political leanings, but no local candidate has shown they want anything less for Nevada County than excellence.

That’s what we want as well — excellence in our candidates and in the campaigns they run. And, to keep with that theme, we also want excellence in ourselves.

We should strive every election season to refrain from base attacks on social media, or sign theft or a handful of other petty actions we could take. Let’s focus on the issues, the experience and the skills our candidates tout, not the mud laying at their feet.

Sure, there’s always going to be a little mud. We can’t completely get away from that. But it doesn’t have to get flung at high speed and it doesn’t have to be tossed regularly.

After all, there’s a reason we keep returning to the funhouse.

Our View is the consensus opinion of The Union Editorial Board, a group of editors and writers from The Union, as well as informed community members. Contact the board at EditBoard@TheUnion.com.

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