Which begs the question…why do candidates running for office say things that are so repelling and so repulsive to so many…and spew hatred so vile that it would compel people in pews to cover their ears?

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I recently met with the minister of a very large church in New York City. The conversation turned to politics.

“What if your sermons sounded like the speeches given by our Presidential candidates?” I asked. His response was immediate. “I wouldn’t have anybody in my pews,” he said.

It has become conventional wisdom in our system that you win by assassinating the character of your opponent; that a candidate’s most valuable asset, and quickest route to power is being a better character assassin than their opponent.

That kind of conventional thinking has now given the United States two candidates with the highest negatives in American history. It is said that candidates spew hate because that is what the marketplace demands.

But if hate is the only thing being sold, how can we be sure that voters would not prefer something more appetizing if only our candidates would offer it?

Here is a dirty little secret. The marketplace doesn’t love hate. The voting public does not pine for a front row seat at a food fight. Voters do respond to passionate, magnetic candidates who are willing to offer a compelling vision of what can be.

Voters are, and will be attracted to candidates willing to stand for a cause greater than themselves.

The proof of that lies in an earlier time.  Jefferson. Lincoln. Roosevelt. Wilson. Kennedy. Reagan. And in distant corners of the globe. Mandela. Thatcher. Gandhi.

In their campaigns and in the causes they championed, they summoned the better angels of the human spirit, kindled hope, lifted nations, and advanced the human condition. Which is why they left a legacy that has long endured.

All candidates leave a legacy of some kind. If you are running for office, strive to make yours something that would make your grandchildren proud.

Have questions? Hit the comment button. Or email me at [email protected]. My phone number is 845-458-1210.

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Political consultant Jay Townsend works with smart, passionate candidates who want to run for office, win elections and make a difference. He has successfully helped candidates learn how to run for the U.S. Senate, how to run for Congress, how to run for Mayor and develop a winning campaign marketing strategy.

How to win an election:

Running for office and knowing how to win an election is a challenge, especially for first time political candidates just learning how to run for office. Discerning the fine points of how to campaign, raise political contributions, and execute a political campaign strategy often requires the help of someone who has served as a political strategist or who has experience as a political consultant.

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