In the run up to the American presidential elections we will be asking a panel of BBC News Online users to share their views. Here, we asked them for their thoughts on the row over negative campaign ads and John Kerry's war record.
Sadly, this issue is everywhere with critical issues such as healthcare being left aside.
MEET THE PANEL
Name: Jorge Caspary
Lives: Tallahassee, Florida
Works: Civil engineer
Current voting intention: Republican
In 10 words or less:
"Bolivian immigrant, geologist, father-of-three, moderate Republican"
Nobody is questioning Kerry's service to his country.
However, unlike Bob Dole and George Bush Sr, when Kerry decided to feature his former war mates in his campaign in an attempt to win over veterans, his short war record was revealed and questions began to be asked.
His campaign realised that this was costing votes and rushed to put out this firestorm.
He ultimately asked President Bush for his help in doing this.
Hopefully this is the end of it and we are ready to move onto tangible issues.
I think core party members, such as me, will usually vote for their party regardless of dirty ads or tactics from the opposing side.
However, I believe that political ads will have an effect on undecided voters, who will decide this presidential race.
Sadly we are seeing an escalation of dirty tactics from both sides with the ultimate loser being America, as these ads are a turn off for potential voters.
The result is the most powerful nation on Earth being governed by a voting minority that is able to endure the trash that is heaped on them during election time.
Send us your comments on Jorge's views using the form below.
Interesting comments. At the same time, a nice inconspicuous incorporation of the writer's political slant.
Tae Il Kim, Seoul, Korea
Dirty tactics, Jorge? The GOP has written the book on sleaze. In 1988 it was Bush Sr's exploitation of the Willie Horton tragedy. In 2000 it was Dubya's savaging of John McCain. Today, it is the "Swift Boat" attacks on Kerry - attacks made with flimsy evidence and contradictory "memories". You're a "moderate" Republican. But as a "core" GOP voter, you bear part of the blame.
John, Fremont, USA
"His campaign realised that this was costing votes and rushed to put out this firestorm." I think this was their big mistake, they should have just let it drop off the end of the table and found another point to sell Kerry on. The negative publicity has made the SBVT a national phenomenon rather than a limited three-state attack that they could afford to pay for.
Neil Harbott, McKinney, TX, USA
I agree, what is a democracy when not all the votes are counted? Gore won the popular vote in 2000 and should have been president, a true democracy would count everyone's vote for president. Yet what we have in the US right now is exactly that, a minority government who did not even win the election. I'm with Kerry this time round. I just hope all our votes are counted this time.
Brian Johnson, Columbus, Ohio, USA
I believe Jorge is correct. It was Kerry who played up his Vietnam record and made it the cornerstone of his campaign, and talked about little else. Now that Kerry's Vietnam record is called into some question somehow it's the 'Republicans' who are being tagged as the ones who don't want to talk about the real issues. It's sad to see now that we have decorated Vietnam veterans calling each other liars. But this is sometimes the price you pay when you decide to jump into the political arena with both feet.
Eric Austin, Passaic, New Jersey, USA.