There has really been a back and forth here in the last few weeks in terms of if Hillary Clinton should go scorched earth to try to win this nomination. Really, the root of the question is, is winning ugly ok? Some would argue that winning is winning, despite how it is done, as long as it is within the law. Mike Huckabee had a huge moral dilemma on if he should go negative against Mitt Romney. Romney’s #1 TV guy was a very famous Alex Castellanos, who is known for doing some very morally shady things.
Romney and Castellanos ran the first Negative ad, and by Castellanos standards, it was a very tame ad. Still though, it was unfair and misleading and the polls showed Mike Huckabee slipping in Iowa. Huckabee was advised by his hot shot operative, Ed Rollins, to go negative back. Rollins is a short, Boxer type Irish Roman Catholic who was quoted as saying he wanted to knock out Romney’s teeth. So, the Huckabee campaign quickly paid for and shot a hard hitting, misleading ad.
So Huckabee was faced with this question, does he go negative, in an attempt to stop the leakage from the Romney attacks? Rollins said that any Political consultant would tell you to do just what he said. Rollins was correct in that assessment. Still, Huckabee decided not to run the ad. They set up a press conference to show the ad. With every major political reporter in the room and with the theme “Enough is Enough” behind Huckabee, he said these words: ““If you gain the whole world and lose your soul, what does it profit you?”
Now the answer was taken from quoting Mark 8:36 and was a dog whistle which Huckabee did all through the campaign (a dog whistle is when you so say something the press won’t pick up but your supporter react positively to). Still, the answer drives home this point. We ought not to do anything to win elections.
Now, I am not saying that campaigns should not run negative attacks. I strongly believe that they should. Still, the attacks that usually ran are rarely fair. The job title of political operative is right up there with used car salesman in terms of its moral standards. This Clinton/Obama battle has shown us just how bad this can be. If you really want to see some back attacks, go back to elections in the early 19th century as they make Castellanos look like a saint.
No matter what profession you are in or doing to be in, these issues can arise. I would suggest to all of you that you really think about what you would do in these situations. Making good moral judgments is something ever person needs to be thinking about so when the time comes, you know how to act.