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Seasonal affective disorder.

It's August in Arkansas, which has always been a hot season. But worse than sliding into a car that's been baking in the sun for an hour is the blistering headache caused by the realization that the other hot season, the political campaign season, is already upon us.

Talk about climate change: It's only been nine months since the never-ending presidential campaign ended, and we've already seen announced candidates withdraw and mud-slinging advertisements begin.

(Please note: One man's smear is another man's opposition research.)

It's probably futile--when did any politician ever care what an editorialist had to say about anything?--but Arkansas Business will take this early-season opportunity to encourage candidates and their campaign staffs to keep it classy. And, especially, to keep it truthful--the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

Sometimes--far too often in recent years--campaigns will knowingly and deliberately misrepresent an opponent's position or an earlier vote. It's the kind of dissembling that we would not accept from our children, yet we are supposed to excuse it as acceptable, standard operating procedure from the adults who present themselves as candidates for public service. Sometimes we see bald-faced lies, but generally what we see are carefully massaged attempts to leave voters with an impression or understanding that isn't quite correct for the purpose of benefitting one candidate and hurting the other.

Worst of all are the candidates who run on their religious piety while participating in activities that undermine educated democracy.

Here's a rule of thumb, candidates: If you find yourself searching for words that will disguise rather than illuminate, you are part of the problem.

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Publication:Arkansas Business
Article Type:Editorial
Date:Aug 12, 2013
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