I have been involved in politics and campaigns for over 30 years now and I have never seen anything like the campaign we have been in for the last few months.
We have always known in Southwest Oklahoma that we are honest and for what is best for our state, county and city. Men and women run against one another with respect and shake hands when the election is over. Candidates spend months educating the voters on why they are running and what they will do if elected. Voters have always taken that opportunity to learn who the best person is for the job before they cast their votes. No mudslinging, no attacks. Yards full of campaign signs, some with both candidates. That is just the way it has always been. Until this time.
The filings for House District 52 were barely closed before I started getting phone calls from people. Most of them have never been involved in campaigns and were asking me for advice. Then as the days and weeks passed, things started getting uglier and uglier. People were being called and threatened because of the signs that were in their yards, literally told to take them down because they didn’t want to look at them. Phone calls were being made to individuals telling them lies and making threats. Teachers and other school employees have felt threatened, people have been admonished by one of the candidates and some people’s hands have not been shaken. Teachers were having students send hate mail, much the same as during the Vietnam War. People’s Christianity and faith have been attacked and bad attitudes have been brought into churches.
This campaign has affected our entire community; friendships, families, co-workers, churches and businesses. And for what? Because some people think this is fun? Because we have people who have never been involved in a campaign before watching national TV and think that Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders know how to campaign in Southwest Oklahoma?
I pray that when this horrible time is over that we can all pick up the pieces and go back to what we have always been. Southwest Oklahoma where we all care for our neighbors and do anything to help out a friend and many times a stranger. Where we worship in our churches and hear the Word of God and sing His praises. Where only hope for our future is in our sights.