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Opinion: Americans are fed up, candidates. Clean up your act

Opinion by Paige Alexander and Gleaves Whitney

Paige Alexander is the CEO of The Carter Center, the not-for-profit organization founded by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn. Gleaves Whitney is the executive director of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation, which fosters increased awareness of the life, career, values and legacy of former President Gerald R. Ford.

(CNN) Many politicians these days seem to think they have to play dirty to win, that truth is optional and that they don't have to accept the results if they lose. We have news for them: American voters are fed up with scorched-earth campaigning and want their leaders to act like adults. They want candidates to follow the rules of decency and civility. They want national healing and reconciliation.

To that end, on September 13, the Carter Center, the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation, and 50 other organizations -- including businesses, suburban moms and former lawmakers from across the political spectrum -- launched the Candidate Principles for Trusted Elections. They are a simple set of ideals fundamental to the successful functioning of democracy. We are calling on candidates for state and federal offices to commit to support and abide by these five principles...

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