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