Tuesday, May 23, 2006
Throw the bums out---campaign planners, that is
I'm going to go vote today, but I don't want to. I feel no passion for participating in the "democratic" process during this primary election because I'm mainly voting to see that some people DON'T get elected. That's not a good attitude.
I used to think I might want to run for public office some day. That was when I was an idealistic teenager. That was also before I had a clue about all the phoniness and back-biting that's involved. Now, I'd run but as far away as possible from any elective office.
The out-and-out political prostitution that seems to be a key for getting elected these days makes me sick. An independent thinker need not apply. Instead, potential candidates must dance to the murky beat of a party line or forget it. They also need to conjure up dirt on their opponent----or a raise a lot of money to blitz the voting public with their ugly ads, daily firestarters in the mail or nauseating telephone calls to homes where the occupants hate politicians as much as they loathe telemarketers.
I certainly don't want to group all elected officials in the same category because I know there are a few who are very dedicated and who perform exemplary service to the public. In fact, I even quietly support a few with my little contributions, and they represent both parties.
To hear or read the campaign ads, however, you'd think every last candidate or incumbent is a lying, cheating crook who gets up every morning just to do evil things to voters, like trying to steal their money. Granted, a few are, like that Louisiana congressman who hid all his fraud money in his freezer. I'm hoping he's an exception.
Or, you may think that many candidates represent those "bad" political philosophies, that these days appear pretty much the same, depending on how you want to interpret them. If you really want to get elected in Idaho, claim that you're the purest conservative that ever lived and that other scumbag is a surely a lame liberal. Or, throw in the abortion card; it can work either way.
Then, there's the technique oft used but requiring no thought on the part of the voter: Throw the bums out and vote for me, even if I don't have a brain. I do have big signs, though, and I know where to park my trucks.
I think what gets me most about campaigning these days is how the campaign gurus play to your dumbest instincts. The ads are insulting to most voters, using wild and crazy statements with absolutely no support or taking information completely out of context. The assumption is that if we tell you this stuff, you'll believe us. Sadly, there are some few voters who gobble up this crap lock, stock and barrel.
The noble reasons for running for public office seem to have fallen by the wayside in recent years, as have many noble people who would serve their constituents well if only they didn't have to play the stupid games to get there in the first place.
I don't know what peabrains have been coming up with the modern rules for getting elected, but I wish they'd change the policy manual and get back to the basics for promoting their candidates: brains, integrity, vision, organizational and communications skills, consistency, common sense, and proven leadership skills.
If those attributes are clearly demonstrated in a candidate, I'll vote for them, whether they're a liberal, a conservative----or even a bum.