‘I’ ON CULTURE
The only certainty I have as this election season comes to an end is that I hate all politicians. Just watch the ads and listen to the continuous stream of phone calls. Every one of them is evil and determined to destroy us… and then laugh about it.
I basically divide all politicians into two distinct groups: those who are bought and those who are not worth the money. The ads all claim opponents are clearly in the first group, but as I watch every politician’s worth as a candidate and human exposed, I have moved just about all of them into the second.
I deeply resent the flagrant lies and misrepresentations in the ads. The most common charge is that the opponent is owned by special interests. Well, who do you think paid for the ad that claimed undue influence? The tooth fairy? Just about all politicians take money from others, and most of the people who pay out money want something in return. Every one of the ads is paid for by special interests, and most of them take some sort of fake name so we have trouble figuring out exactly who is behind them.
This is hardly new. James Madison, the “Father of the Constitution,” wrote about factions and special interests in The Federalist #10. To paraphrase very loosely, we form governments as a way of getting those things done that we want, and to mediate the power of special interests.
And, of course, this continues today. People give money to one party or another based on whether or not they like what political parties do and promise. But they also do it because they believe the candidate will do the things they like and will support the policies they want. With billions of dollars spent every day by the federal government, a large donation might bring back millions in rewards. And both parties accept money like this. Often Republicans get huge amounts of money, far more than Democrats. This year, the situation is reversed. A candidate in Texas has raised close to $40 million based mainly on great teeth and hair, as well as a dislike by many people for his opponent.
We should also remember that only one president in our history has ever achieved all his campaign promises: James K. Polk, who promised a handful of things, accomplished them, and left office after one term.
I hate the fact that most of the ads distort things. Any person who has been in office of late can be blamed for the increased national debt. In 2016, Democrats got the blame, now it’s the Republicans’ turn. And the accusations generally mean nothing, since no serious politician is ready to slash the budget to balance it.
According to the ads, everyone is for destroying healthcare. The accusations fly back and forth. Yes, Obamacare was good to millions of people but other millions paid more than before. The Republican changes helped different people than the Democratic one. And few people can really dig deep enough to figure out what can be changed and how it might be paid for.
The “red tide” problem is also big at the moment. That it exists up and down the coast all the way into South America should demonstrate the size of the problem, but just about all the politicians blame each other as if there was a simple solution.
Yes, this is a rant. We have seen a few ads trumpeting families and service, but mostly we just see negative ads. And I have not seen any ads explaining just how problems can be solved. Casting blame to make your opponent seem ineffective or corrupt does not solve the issues facing us. The people who want to be our leaders are far more interested in telling the public how bad the other guy is without demonstrating their own ability.
All of us deserve better. I always vote, but of late, I tend to run to a men’s room to vomit after I do. We need to know what the politicians really want to do, rather than simply picking the lesser of two evils.