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At last, election season is over
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Forsyth County News
With the casting of the final ballot and the verification of one last set of totals, the 2008 election season finally came to a close with last week’s runoff.

The end came none to soon for most voters, who had been pummelled, poked and prodded by political ads, robocalls, e-mails, pollsters and politicians for well over a year.

Looking back, the seemingly endless 2008 campaign season was certainly historic, but it was not the finest moment for those who are fans of representative government and the political process upon which it depends.

We can only hope it was not representative of future political seasons, realizing as we do that candidates already are jockeying for position in the 2010 elections.

One need look back no farther than  last week’s runoff to chronicle the sort of negativity that permeated campaigning in 2008. In most races, candidates chose not to discuss their own ideas and goals, but rather to hammer relentlessly on perceived weaknesses of their competition.

It also was a year in which partisanship was portrayed as being more important than political philosophy. Republicans were lumped with Republicans and Demo-crats with Democrats as though the individual candidates involved had no personal platforms.

The 2008 election season also showed us in stark terms the potential of the Internet as a source of misinformation, and the unfortunate reality that many are incapable of judging the credibility of the media from which they derive their information.

Voters’ perspectives of many candidates were formed not on legitimate issues, but rather on inaccurate e-mails, mudslinging blogs and Web sites that intentionally served as depository for political lies that frequently were repeated as truths.

Misinformation intentionally spread as fact through the Internet has become the newest form of political propogandizing.
While national and state races left us longing for some civility in the process, some of the county’s local races were just as bad, maybe worse considering the level of office being sought.

For now at least, the politicking is over, and in a few weeks new terms of office will begin for hosts of elected officials.
We can only hope that the governance will be conducted with more class than was the campaigning.