Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Election Season

In another week, life as we know it will return to normal.

Why? You ask.

The election will be over.

I know I say this every year, but I have never seen so much mud-slinging as this season of the mid-term elections has brought. In New York alone, we are assaulted by negative campaign ads—apparently the only kind that exist anymore—on a continual basis and when we’re not being forced to watch those, we are receiving robo-calls every hour imploring us to vote for a certain candidate.

In my opinion, they all stink.

In the governor’s race here in the Empire State, we have a Buffalo bazillionaire running against a rather bland, yet effective, Attorney General. We have several people running for State Senator, none of whom I know a lot about except for the fact that one has recently lost a lot of weight and was featured in a Vogue spread. I don’t know how that’s going to affect the things that matter in our state if she is elected, but at least she’ll look good making some changes? I’m grasping at straws here.

We have another candidate running whose campaign placards around the village boast “Women 4 Ball.” If you couldn’t guess that his last name is “Ball” you might wonder what the women of my village were actually supporting. I, for one, am not supporting ball of any kind, except maybe Jet football. (We’re 5-1…go Jets!)

Then, because I’m lucky enough to live in the tri-state area, we’re subjected to negative campaigning that relates to the races run in Connecticut. So, if I get bored with Ball or the bland, yet effective Attorney General, I can watch former WWE chairwoman Linda McMahon beat the verbal stuffing out of some guy who pretended he was in Viet Nam but was really only a reservist stationed in Nova Scotia or some hotbed like that. Newsflash: Peggy’s Cove is not as dangerous as Dien Bien Phu so don’t try to pretend it is. We, the people, are a little smarter than you give us credit for.

Then, there’s the gubernatorial race in California with candidates Jerry (I dated Linda Ronstadt) Brown and Meg (eBay) Whitman. The only thing I know about these two candidates is that they, or their political operatives, have both used a derogatory word to describe the other and that it rhymes with “bore.” Nice.

It has gotten so bad that I don’t know who is running for what or what their platform is or even if they have a platform beyond “Hey! That guy stinks!” This election season is bringing out the worst in everyone with any single message being diluted. There seems to be an incredible amount of anger in the country, which to my thinking, is about six years too late, but that’s a post for another time.

Is there an honest politician left in this world? Is there someone who can run a campaign with integrity without resorting to calling the other guy/gal schoolhouse names and dredging up a missed credit card payment from their college years? Is there any basic decency, not to mention courtesy, left in American politics? It would seem not. And that, to me, is even more disappointing than a candidate who doesn’t know that yes, Christine, there is a separation of church and state in this great land. And because of our Constitution—a masterpiece of tolerance and acceptance—you can practice wicca, free from fear of persecution.

What’s going on in your states, Stiletto faithful? (And you Canadians on board can comment and laugh at us…I give you permission.) Is it as disgusting, and off-message, where you are as it is here?

Maggie Barbieri

12 comments:

  1. I'm so tired of this year's state election and you are so right, I have no idea what their goal is for our state.

    This morning I was watching the early news and when they took their commercial break - every last ad was a political ad from NY, NJ and CT.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am shocked SHOCKED! that you would say Peggy's Cove is not a hotbed. Clearly you have never been there. The competition to have your picture taken at the lighthouse is FIERCE. You need Macy's Sale Days elbows out there, I tell you.

    I've gotten a kick out watching the commercials (we Canadians watch a lot of US TV) and the mudslinging. Personally, I think all the candidates are pretty equal, especially in their trash-talk skills. What more can you ask of your representative anyway? They shouldn't be looking for office in order to make things better for you, the people, after all. Where's the profit for them in that?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Zita: You took the bait!!! :-) Yes, I know how dangerous it can get in Peggy's Cove. Glad you watch our sad attempts at free speech and political maneuvering here in the States. We have a lot to be proud of, eh? Maggie

    ReplyDelete
  4. Sigh. I'm in central NY so I get many of the ads you do plus our local spread out over many districts. I've not seen an ad other than a political one in weeks.

    I also recently visited my mother on the Delmarva peninsula so I saw Maryland and Delaware ads. The ads are much the same, only the names are different. All mud looks alike in the dark or the light. Dabble Gate, distorted facts, finessed statistics, and no truth to be had. No civility.

    Since when did the Speaker of the House become the Great Satan of the United States?

    I used to enjoy politics. Now I'm just glad when it's a lull in the storm.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Oh, Maggie. Negative campaigning? In Oklahoma? Let me tell you. Sigh. For the first time ever Oklahoma is going to have a woman governor. We have two women representing the Republican and Democratic parties. But in a debate last week, the Republican candidate played the "Mommy" card. She said what put her apart from her Democratic rival was that she'd been a wife and mother. (She didn't mention she was a divorced and remarried mother who may or may not have had an affair with her bodyguard during that first marriage.) So really - being a mother is a requirement for filling the governor's office? Too bad every governor we've ever had failed that test.

    And don't get me talking about the guy (a Democrat) running for Lt. Governor who keeps slamming his opponent for a bad bill that they "both" voted for.

    Rhonda
    aka The Southern Half of Evelyn David

    ReplyDelete
  6. Gail, so you know what I'm talking about! I didn't really vent my complete spleen in this post, but suffice it to say that this may be the worst season I remember.

    Rhonda, sounds like it's just as bad where you are. My condolences. Maggie

    ReplyDelete
  7. Ads are awful here, too, and so many robo-calls and human calls from political campaigns that I'm not answering my phone until next week has come and gone! Has anyone ever changed their mind about their choice of candidates due to a robo-call? Just wondering. Oh, and Maggie, here in Missouri, the mud is being slung fast and furious (or is that furiously?). I love the ads that just take one word from, say, a Wall Street Journal article to stain the other candidate's reputation. It'll be like "Robin Carnahan is 'bad' says the New York Times," when maybe in context the quote was, "Robin Carnahan had a bad hair day." It's ridiculous. I'd rather hear the merits of each candidate, what they stand for, and their experience as opposed to how horrible their opponent is. Yuck.
    --Susan McBride

    ReplyDelete
  8. Wouldn't you love to see the tv stations in order to keep their broadcasting license being required to fact check each political ad and tack on a final screen noting what was truth, lie, or just misleading about the statements in the ad? No stepping on freedom of speech, the ad is aired, but a real disclaimer about the facts in the message follows.

    I've seen too many ads this year with no-question-about-it lies being aired over and over - even after ad was "outed" as factually false in news broadcasts. Voters can't really be ready to vote for someone running that kind of a ad, can they?

    Rhonda

    ReplyDelete
  9. California has gone nuts! All the ads are accusatory. You can even tell how they've taken a short bit out of a TV appearance to prove a lie. Both sides are guilty.

    Already voted absentee ballot a couple of weeks ago.

    Marilyn

    ReplyDelete
  10. I wish there was a signal you could hook up to your phone that would indicate you mailed off your ballot a week ago so the robo-calls don't get routed through. I had a migraine yesterday and was trying to sleep and got six calls in forty-five minutes and I've ALREADY VOTED. Hate the ads! Hate the calls! Hubby and i research all candidates (including judges) on-line at a variety of sites. For the record, the ads are just as negative here in Colorado as elsewhere.

    ReplyDelete
  11. We just moved from Florida to Colorado. I just about gave up watching TV because of all the mud-slinging ads here. I'm not sure what's really going on, because nobody says anything other than how bad their opponent is.

    Terry
    Terry's Place
    Romance with a Twist--of Mystery

    ReplyDelete
  12. All I have to say is "Oy vey." And I'm not Jewish. Actually, I had more to say in my blog a coupla days ago, and now I'm just all spent. http://gaylecarline.blogspot.com/2010/10/political-rant.html

    ReplyDelete