Thursday, September 11, 2008

Political garbage

It was a quarter to five this morning and I was driving my wife to the airport in Albany. We were listening to NPR. There was a story about the presidential campaign and lipstick and pigs and a sound bite from a congresswoman who used to support Hillary and now backs McPalin in which she has a crowd believing Obama said something he didn't say and meant something he didn't mean.

I turned off the radio. I couldn't listen anymore. I'd had enough. In in the right setting, I would have pulled a Howard Beale and screamed, "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore!"

It's still two months from Election Day, and I'm a disgusted voter.

What happened to the civil, issues-oriented campaign both sides promised? Why has this race disintegrated into the worst kind of insinuating and fabricating?

It's an insult to our intelligence.

The people of this country are being fed political garbage and many of them are swallowing it whole.

Maybe there'll be a backlash and saner heads will prevail. The Freeman has an editorial written for Saturday on the "politics of distraction." Sunday Freeman Syndicated media columnist Norman Solomon chastises the press again this week, but he also challenges voters to "think for themselves." Other voices no doubt will be heard with similar sentiments. (See this editorial from the Washington Post, for instance.)

Don't be distracted. Do think for yourself. Don't let the campaign crap get out of hand. This is one of the most important presidential elections in the history of our country. It shouldn't be decided on the basis of pigs, lipstick, gender, skin color or age. It should be decided by what the candidates stand for - really stand for - and how they propose to lead this country in the difficult years ahead.

Americans will be doing ourselves and the world a disservice if we blow this election.
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