For pure excitement and pleasure, the historic mid-term election of 2018 ranked right up there with the Asian flu pandemic of 1957.

It was about as enjoyable, uplifting and inspirational as other catastrophes.

The Texas City disaster of ’47 (which, by the way, did involve great quantities of fertilizer) and the Wall Street crash of ’29 come to mind.

The best that can be said about the Nov. 6 referendum is this: It’s over. For the most part.

Of all the bitter campaigns of the past, nothing has ever come close to the dirty, rotten negative political commercials broadcast and speeches delivered during Election ’18.

The process has been damaged for generations.

It’s not the people who survived — but the way they won — that left a once noble purpose in a pile of rubble.

Winners and losers alike attempted to pull themselves up by putting the other guy down. Candidates showed scarcely a shred of personal quality or excellence.

Not many who ran can be proud.

Sadly, the smell of this rancid process continues because of the closeness of the vote and the long recounting in so many races.

Some consulting hot shot years ago convinced candidates they’d get more mileage out their advertising dollar by tearing down the opponent rather than focusing on their own good qualities. Assuming they had any.

Now that seems to be the dominant theme in American politics.

Maybe we’ve run out of greatness and in order to choose our leaders we just rummage through the rubbish.

I hope not.

I hope there are quality people who’ll step forward in this awful time of rampant political smut and give us and our children and grandchildren some hope for the future.

Oh, I know, there’s been plenty of trash thrown and mud slung since the days of Jefferson and Adams and it has seeped on down to today.

But there were great political leaders back then.

The greatness of politicians today pretty much amounts to how much garbage they can dump on each other.

By comparison, a knife fight in some dark alley would look downright honorable. Aristocratic, even.

There’s nothing wrong with declaring, “Hey, I’m a better candidate than my opponent… I have more experience… I’m more attractive…” etc., etc.

But leave it at that, guys.

We don’t want, “Vote for me because my opponent is a scumbag …. who hates children and puppies …. who doesn’t brush after every meal …. and who once said a naughty word in church.”

Can’t we do something about campaigns that are all-negative all the time?

Let’s hope enough winners — perhaps feeling guilt for the kind of “winning” effort they showed — will organize a committee or pass a law that reigns in the start-to-finish, wall-to-wall runaway poppycock and flimflam we had to witness in the 2018 mid-terms.

Because, I’m tellin’ ya, there are a lot of winners and losers out there across the country today who have nothing to be proud of as far as character goes.

That’s what this election brought us in style.

Nothing.

Corky Simpson writes a monthly column for the Green Valley News.

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