Weather Forecast


Beware of dreaded campaign zombies

Halloween may be more than a few weeks away, but one creepy reality is already sending shivers down my spine: the campaign zombies are out in full force.

I should explain.

"Campaign zombies" is a name I contrived that refers to individuals who have jumped onto the political bandwagon with the unalterable goal of vigorously pressuring those around them to adopt certain ideals planted behind ongoing political rhetoric and propaganda.

The idea is that, similar to Hollywood's version of a zombie transformation, a campaign zombie starts out as a political enthusiast who presents their beliefs to others. The person then absorbs opposing comments from other people, and, eventually, turns into a senseless, tantrum-prone patron who resorts to petty insults and pointless wisecracks to get their point across.

These people might seem civil and sensible at first, but like regular zombies, the more heated conversations get, the more they want to stray away from reason and simply overpower their adversaries with mean words, silly threats or childish name-calling.

In other words, the select behind-the-scenes individuals who wield what often seems like endless devotion and pestering to reinforce a candidate's ideals by badgering the general public during a campaign, along with the everyday die-hard pre-election enthusiasts who constantly feel the need to force their political views onto others - these are the people I call campaign zombies.

For the record, let me also point out that I am not against people expressing their political views. I feel that there is great power in discussion, debate and general political collaboration because these things reflect freedom in America. But what ever happened to embracing mutual respect during political discussions?

There was a point in my timeline when I started wondering if the intensity of certain peoples' political expressiveness was going too far.

Like my many life observations thus far, my train of thought in this matter traces back to school - more specifically, my college years.

During every school year at North Dakota State University, when a handful of individuals began running for the title of university president or vice president, it was virtually impossible to stroll through the campus' student Union without being bombarded by volunteer student staffers handing out voting pins, chanting candidates' names, waving election-themed picket signs in my face and pulling me and others aside to talk about what changes the campus needed.

It was overwhelming, to say the least. Thus, the campaign zombies were born.

I should also point out that while some folks are ready for election time to be over, it's an exciting time for many others. I truly recognize how significant a time this is for our great nation. So, in a way, I understand why people get excited. But there is a fine line between excitement and insanity.

It seems like many self-proclaimed political know-it-alls aren't coming across so much as sensible as they are threatening and downright disrespectful.

When I look at the political-based comments some people leave under stories we've posted online, I can't believe the lack of common decency they show toward one another. Most of the web arguments I've seen end with one person calling another an idiot. That's unfortunate.

As Election Day approaches, consider this: Remember to be respectful of other people and their opinions. Your political thoughts can be a valuable tool, but remember to keep discussions civil.