The problem with these types of dirty campaigns is the wedge they drive between good people who probably agree with each other on at least 95% of the other issues. It seems that our claims and counter-claims of Republican orthodoxy can make us so dogmatic that we can't clearly see the other person's point of view. If we could see clearly I am sure that most of the time we would find our differences to be more about tactics than principles.
The primary campaign that is going on right now is a perfect example of how bad things can get. The personal attacks directed at Rep. Pearce during this campaign and the responses from all camps have made the atmosphere of our district more like a war zone than a free and open political forum. Instead of being excited about whichever candidate we are supporting, we are perpetually angry at the other candidate. This bunker mentality distracts us from the other real issues we need to focus on if we are to win in November, both on a local and a national level.
I realize that in any contest we have to point out differences, but we don't need to attack people's character for having a different point of view. It is also OK to approach each contest with an open mind about the different candidates and their ideas. We only help the other party when we engage in sandbagging each other. The truly Reaganesque thing to do in these types of contests is to stick strictly to the issues and obey the 11th Commandment - "Thou Shalt Not Criticize Thy Fellow Republicans".
In those instances when we have a candidate who simply can't seem to abide by this simple commandment we silence them in the most effective and permanent manner possible - we soundly defeat them at the ballot box.
(I realize that this post is probably a little too idealistic and might even open me up to accusations of hypocrisy, but I am really getting sick and tired of the personal attacks that are going around, not just in our district but in Republican races throughout the state. Do we really need this much cannibalism? Look at what it is doing to our party!)