Elected officials have done some pretty despicable things while serving in office. They range from bribery, beating a spouse, cheating on a spouse, obstruction of justice, and various forms of corruption. I have done none of these things.
A candidate running for office in Purcellville, a person who seemingly is against everything I do and stand for, has made a baseless and untruthful accusation against me in what appears to be an organized campaign of misinformation, censorship, and half-truths. It is a petty attempt to distract from the campaign issues. I am not running in the election this year, so this character assassination against me is even more incomprehensible.
Social media is a double-edged sword: it can be a great platform, but it also exposes you to direct feedback, including negative comments about false information. People can incorrectly take a comment you make out of context, share hurtful opinions, and take part in a hate campaign.
Everybody in the public eye gets his or her share of attacks. You can’t fight fire with fire, especially when you refuse to use the same destructive personal attacks and manipulations as the other side. However, the strength of their propaganda is also its greatest weakness.
I have built strong relationships with residents over the years and received enormous support from the community during my tenure. So far, I have seen people I don’t know but who support my policies, actions, and advocacy defending me against the negative postings about me.
It is said that when a person resorts to attacking the messenger and not the message, they have lost the debate. Others simply can’t accept or handle disagreement on the issues. Those who lack the ability to enter into thoughtful discussions degenerate into insults. I believe this attempt to discredit me is motivated by political, financial, and ideological gain.
I don’t believe this untruth will convince people of who is right or wrong. I think people are much more complicated than that. Public opinion often centers around who’s saying it, how it’s said, and the history of the individual saying it. I will leave it to them to determine the veracity of the claim.
Since the candidate wants to work for the public, he may ultimately face the same treatment down the road. A person’s actions and reactions highlight their character and provide information on how the candidate will act in office.
I am still navigating the sometimes murky political waters. I try to find common ground among our diverse views, negotiate with those who agree and disagree with me, and do so without betraying my core beliefs. Demanding all or nothing and launching personal attacks may seem like a good idea on the stump, but it's guaranteed to get you pushed to the sidelines when it counts.