Politics and Such

It is not in the nature of politics that the best men should be elected. The best men do not want to govern their fellowmen. ~George E. MacDonald, Scottish author and poet

Surely I’m not the only American who’s had it up to here with the back-biting, mud-slinging, lying, thieving, orneriness of yet another election year, right?

Long-time readers know I’m a former journalist. Among my beats was politics (mostly local, but the chief difference between that and national seems to be the scale of nastiness).

We all know an informed electorate is an ideal. While some read the news stories, browse the websites, listen to TV ads, and tune in to the debates, others remain blissfully detached.

Because they’ve learned those activities don’t make us any more enlightened.

After all, how can we know… really know…whether a candidate is stretching the truth? How can we remember who said what when? Do we even know what the issues are, or who stands for what?

For example: Who wants to ship immigrants back from whence they came? Who wants to hand out free college educations? Who wants to rob the rich to pay the poor, thereby equalizing everyone?

Who insults another’s appearance? Who jabs at everyone else’s core values? Who makes snide remarks that another is headed for prison? And on and on.

Sadly, it’s the televised debates — where we’re supposed to learn something — that turn into free-for-alls, leaving us more confused, angry, and frustrated.

Regardless of which camp you lean towards, we all should be ashamed at this behavior. Candidates covering their “little” indiscretions, pointing accusatory fingers at one another, slanting the truth when it serves their purpose, promising the moon when they can’t even reach the stars.

I don’t mean to sound jaded. It wasn’t so long ago that I went into journalism, hopeful that I, too, could change the world with my words. Today’s media only adds to the confusion by pandering to the philosophy of their executive boards and advertisers.

When did things get so ugly? Why is it de rigueur to tear a competitor to pieces, hoping that makes you look good? Who learned that lesson in kindergarten? Can’t we do better?

Shouldn’t we citizens expect better?

How come we choose from just two people to run for president and 50 for Miss America?  ~Author Unknown

28 thoughts on “Politics and Such

  1. I have been following the American election debacle with some interest and I feel quite sorry for you all having to pick through the drama to try and make a decision about who should be given such a weighty opportunity. I can’t say that things are any more pleasant this side of the pond when elections come around, but you chaps do seem to have some rather extreme cases this time around.

    • You’re so right, Lucy. It IS a weighty opportunity, and we can ill afford to take our responsibility lightly. Sorry to hear your elections aren’t any kinder and gentler than ours, but this year is a real mess. “Extreme” is a good word for it.

  2. How did America end up in this pickle? Seriously, our top choices were/are not much to choose in the integrity department. It comes down to what transgressions we consider the lesser of the evils…too much drama, lying, corruption, scandal, and bullying….and no I also don’t like the idea of socialism as it undermines what I consider the American Dream, sure puts a lot of stress on small business owners.

    • We’ve had several years in my memory where I ended up casting a vote for the least objectionable candidate, Suzi. Sorry, but I don’t think that’s the way our country was founded. We the People deserve better than that!

  3. I must admit I’m watching the US election with horror this time round. As Mitt Romney quoted John Adams earlier today, all democracies tend to commit suicide eventually. I’m hoping the US pulls back from the cliff edge. As for TV debates, it makes the whole thing about as meaningful as the Big Brother house, but less entertaining. Of course, we’re going exactly the same way. The problem is it leaves us all wih no respect for the people we elect to lead us – dangerous.

    • Well said, FF — “horror” describes it splendidly. And there’s yet another debate on TV tonight. Already, the announcers are gearing up for a big brouhaha — guess that plays right into their hands by spiking viewership. You’ve got a similar problem?? Gee, I’m truly sorry to hear that — was hoping some place across the world had retained some sanity!

  4. The quotation has been attributed to various people, but the truth remains: in a democracy, people get the government they deserve. If we’re going to change the process, the candidates we’re offered, and so on, there are going to have to be cultural changes. Allowing free expression of opinions would be a good start. When the best universities are full of children demanding “safe spaces” and asking not to be offended by scary ideas, what hope is there for true political discourse?

    • Personally, I believe we need to turn back to the ideals we were founded upon and stop this mad attempt to make everybody happy and comfy. We are only equal in the eyes of God — ask any struggling single mom if she feels equal to somebody like Hillary Clinton! As for our universities, that’s a whole ‘nother subject. Carrying signs, protesting, and such are, for some, good excuses to get out of the classes somebody is paying them to attend.

  5. I block almost everything poltical on my Facebook page but recently something so outrageously incorrect kept popping up that I broke my no comment rule and pointed out the inaccuracy with source. It wasn’t a matter of opinion it was fact. The person posting said –“Well who cares if it is wrong, they post wrong things too.” REALLY? I left the conversation but had a whole lot more to say.
    As you know, I avoid almost all news. I enjoyed talking to my dad when I was in New Mexico, last week. He watches all the debates and is very fair and opened minded—I learn from him. I enjoy talking to anyone who can be civil and open minded—which would not include my own mother and if she votes for the one I will not name–I may disown her (not really, she has very nice jewelery)
    My teen (I can only say that for a few more days) is very into all the candidates, as are his friends which gives me hope. These soon to be first time voters are young with a lot of heart and little money so while they are liberal* they do take the time to research and ask questions. Personally, I can’t believe they are giving us these candidates to vote on for the next POTUS. I almost want to yell come back MItt, I forgive you for putting your dog in a crate on top of your car.
    But above all…We need a President with nice hair and good manners! And yes it could be worse….Kanya could be running but for the time being I heard he is just running from his creditors and will be for a long time.
    Pardon the long winded comment…. making up for lost time..:-) )

    *(less my teen—my mother had him recite all the Republican presidents when he visited and bought him presents for calling Presidents day–Saint Bush’s day while Bush was in office. I guess they thought he might not be growing up in the best political environment –you know, open minded)

    • First off, glad to see you back — I missed you!! Next, your dear mom sounds like mine, who is totally glued to the TV and quite adamant about her choice (who shall remain unnamed to protect, well, everybody!!)

      I understand campaigning. I understand some bickering. What I don’t understand are candidates in the same party so intent on kicking each other to the curb while “forgetting” that ultimately, this “contest” is going to be between two different parties with different visions for our country’s future.

      I suppose if there’s anything good to come from this dog-and-pony show, it’s that at least people seem interested in the election…for a change. I mean, even Domer is researching candidates, discussing issues, and debating with his colleagues and friends.

  6. Debbie, I see what you’re saying and agree with you on how frustrating this is. However, I think as long as politics has been politics, I’m sure the truth has been stretched by most candidates. And I’m sure we’ve also been lied to by false promises. I mean that’s why they call it “politics.” I think it’s always been there.

    But I think the only difference in today’s world is how it’s all broadcasted and conveyed via television, the Internet and social media. I’m sure it was ugly back then too, however, it wasn’t as freely shown to the entire world as it is today. It was more closeted and hidden.

    When it comes to the election, I vote for the person who I feel would most likely be the best candidate. But I also realize that I’m taking a chance on whoever I vote for because they ALL promise change and betterment. But I also realize that they lie about things too.

    Voting is both a hit and a miss.

    Great post, Debbie! Have a super weekend, my friend!

    • You’re soooo right, Ron. Social media, because it’s so “out there,” has a way of getting us in contact with people like candidates that before weren’t as accessible. And that can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on how we use it. I mean, it’s nice to have one’s questions answered or one’s concerns addressed, but I can’t abide the nastiness or threats. And all that shouting just gives me a headache!

      You’re very realistic about understanding that voting is “a hit and a miss.” It’s probably a good thing some of the folks I voted for didn’t get elected, all things considered! And sometimes I wonder whether the ones I did vote for, who got elected, weren’t anything but a disappointment!

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts, my friend — have a wonderful weekend!

  7. And it’s not just in America that the politicians behave like unruly kindergarteners. When all else fails, they resort to mud slinging and name calling. Maybe it’s learned now in Politicians 101.

    • I realize this is a global problem, and it makes me sad. How can we expect kids to behave if their role models don’t? And, while it’s gone on for hundreds of years, longevity doesn’t make it any more acceptable!

  8. Say what you want about this year’s elections but I’ll say one thing for it: It’s certainly been a historic election. We’re seeing drastic change in the parties, in the way they do business. Gone are the days when presidential candidates didn’t use profanity and acted civilized. Gone are the days when they seemingly took the high rode. It’s a new day and I’m terrified for what’s to come. It’s become as crass as any (take your pick) of the reality shows you see nowadays. In fact, it’s hard to tell the difference!

  9. The sad thing is that no one I talk to or read from is happy with the fray and yet it continues. Has the political machine in our federal government gotten too big to control or do anything about? My friends in other countries are appalled at how LONG our election season lasts and at how many millions of dollars a candidate spends to be viable. An average citizen with noble ideas hasn’t a chance anymore. How did we let that happen?

    • Well said, Barb. Everybody’s tired of the entire process long before the actual election — tired of the nastiness, tired of the outrageous expense, and the whole thing. No wonder some people give up their right to vote…they don’t believe one vote matters, and they feel daunted by the massive political machines and their powers. The thing is just spinning out of control, and nobody seems to know how to fix it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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