The best news to come out of the Republican presidential election campaign in recent days was the announcement that the putative nominee, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, has rejected an effort by a wealthy supporter to launch a $10 million television ad campaign that would bring back the controversy over the Rev. Jeremy Wright, former pastor of President Barack Obama.

U.S. Sen. John McCain, who was the GOP candidate against Mr. Obama in 2008, also rejected a similar initiative, much to his credit, as well. Mr. McCain knew first-hand the personal pain which this sort of dirty politics can cause because of the attacks on him that had dragged his adopted Bangladeshi daughter into his campaign in 2000 against George W. Bush with the claim that he had fathered an illegitimate child.

Mr. Romney, of course, has his own reasons for not wanting to play the race card. He was, after all, in his 30s and a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints when the Mormons finally lifted a ban against blacks becoming priests. And that was only one aspect of the church’s horrible attitude towards people of color.

Whatever the reason, though, the hope is that it bodes well for a campaign season that only will get  more nasty as the November vote draws nearer. Our country has been beset for years now by seemingly insoluble problems that have been compounded by one of the more partisan periods in recent memory.

From the campaigning so far, it is easy to see that the one solution lies in the American people having a clear, precise sense of where Mr. Obama and Mr. Romney will take the nation over the next four years. The contrasts between the two men and their parties is as stark as they can get. Americans must demand that the issues not be clouded or distorted by tactics that would inflame passions without addressing the needs of the people.