Our American political system seems to be slipping ever deeper into the hyper-partisan hole of hate, bigotry and distrust into which it has dug itself. The campaign ads get more and more hateful and sleazy as voting day draws near. The gloves come off (if they were ever on) and the last vestiges of truthfulness and integrity are lost in the stampede to sling mud towards the opponents, no matter how outrageous or hurtful the messages may be. This is the ugly face of politics.
The politicians and their advisers think that they are “stirring up the base” by playing to the hate and fear messages that seem to resonate with the radical groups on either side. Rather than insulting the opposition, what these hate ads really do is insult the intelligence of the probable voters. They reduce the process to one of trying to pick out the least sleazy candidate to vote for in any election or the least likely to lead us into doom.
I’m reminded of a quote that I saw in the Jack’s Winning Words blog – “Experience informs us that the first defense of weak minds is to recriminate.” (Samuel Taylor Coleridge)
I suspect that Coleridge would have found many weak minds among the slates of candidates in modern politics.
I will be glad again this year when we get by the election and can return to the more pleasant experience of the TV ads informing me over dinner about all sorts of medicines to help with gross bodily functions or diseases. Those are less likely to turn my stomach than the current crop of political attack ads. It is probably too late to save most of the politicians, but another piece of advice from the Jack’s Winning Words blog also comes to mind –
(Mark Twain) “Never lie to someone who trusts you, and never trust someone who lies to you.”
I wonder what Twain would write about our current political scene if he were alive today. I’ll bet it would be a fun read.
Heaven help us all to get through this mess we call an election.