Soldotna City Council member Justin Ruffridge. (Courtesy photo)

Soldotna City Council member Justin Ruffridge. (Courtesy photo)

Voices of the Peninsula: We must refuse to reward ugly political tactics

With our vote we have to show that extremism and dishonesty do not win the day

  • By Justin Ruffridge
  • Thursday, November 3, 2022 10:14pm
  • Opinion

By Justin Ruffridge

This is a genuine appeal to our better selves. I’m not naïve. When I set out to run for State House I knew there was an ugly underbelly to politics perpetrated by some, but still, I was undaunted and motivated by an idealism that citizenship requires service. While that ideal still holds true for me, what I have found is some will use the ugliness of politics to advance their selfish agenda. They will do anything to achieve this agenda even if it means violating the very tenets they profess to advance. Ultimately, this style of politics is based in the un-American idea of “I the people” instead of “We the people.” They are extreme and will not stop at destroying reputations along the way. Although, as for that, reputations are a minor casualty compared to the real danger.

The great peril of our time is that in our zeal to protect ourselves from tyrants, we become tyrants ourselves. We must begin to recognize the thin veil of self-righteousness that is fueling the agenda of ugly politics and take action to ensure our community, our country does not descend into chaos or violence as a result of these tactics. Hyperbole? Unfortunately, from what I’m seeing, it’s not. These are the stakes. Even an election for House seat in Kenai/Soldotna has ignited people to take actions that are the antithesis of their professed beliefs. Unfortunately, you know this, as examples arrive weekly to your mailboxes.

What is forgotten by those who use extreme rhetoric is that the fabric of America is built on disagreement. The only way this works, however, is if we can engage in civil discourse. Without it the American Experiment comes to a grinding halt and we only have history to show us the truth of this statement.

This is the call for all of us. With our vote we have to show that extremism and dishonesty do not win the day. We must refuse to reward ugly political tactics. Let’s earnestly work to prove the pundits wrong, when they say that negative advertising and clawing your opponent’s eyes out is how you get elected. I still believe truth and fairness win the day. I pray that you and others will justify that faith.

Justin Ruffridge is running for Alaska House District 7.

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