The other day I was watching TV with my daughter when a commercial from one of Mitt Romney‘s Super Pacs came on. She sat shaking her head then stated. “I don’t like Mitt Romney”. This started a discussion on the comparison of the negativity of political campaigns. Her rather discouraging reply was, “don’t get me wrong, I don’t like Obama either. I don’t think either candidate is any good. I makes me not even want to bother voting.” This is her first time getting to vote in a Presidential election and she’s already so disgusted by the campaign crap that she’s just done with it all. I felt so disappointed for her, and so afraid for our future. I can still remember the pride I felt the first time I got to vote. Even after four years of Ronald Reagan, we could still feel the hopelessness of the demoralizing presidency of Jimmy Carter. Proud once again to call ourselves Americans, we young rural Texans were going to make sure we didn’t go there again. I was excited about going to that tin shed out behind the Old Rock Church, to mark my poster sized ballot and put it into the lock-box. I felt as though I were really making a difference. Not in any election since, have I felt that way.
No longer do we have the pleasure of electing a hero who will bravely lead our country to a place of honor and respect in the world. Now we have to settle for trying to discern who will do the least amount of damage. Gone are the grand designs for peace and prosperity, boldly put forth by men like President Reagan. We are left with mud-slinging salesmen and morally bankrupt hypocrites. We no longer go to the polls to elect a leader, we go instead to choose between the lesser of two evils. No wonder, that our young adults are so disillusioned.
Right now the America that has become the most prosperous nation on earth, the country the rest of the world looked up to as an example of leadership, and decency is in grave danger of perishing. Sitting in the Oval Office is a man whose personal philosophy is the polar opposite of that of our Founding Fathers. Someone who has no real understanding of an American culture, and no respect for the “separation of powers” established by our Constitution. Through deceit and subterfuge he bypasses the “checks and balances” of our system of government in order to push through his own agenda. A vision of America where those who live by their own hard work and ingenuity have to share the fruits of their labors with those who choose to do nothing. Where charity and compassion are no longer the way that men of integrity separate themselves from the lazy and selfish, but are government mandates instead. Where peace is bought by placating our enemies and abandoning our allies.
This may be the most critical election in our nation’s history. Made even more so by those who have been beguiled by Obama’s charismatic presence, into believing that his vision for America really will make their lives better. Those individuals are lost to us. Our only hope is to convince those who are undecided and especially those who feel that their vote doesn’t matter that an absent vote is the same as a vote for Obama. The only way to save our nation is for everyone who is tired of “politics as usual” to understand the disaster that four more years of Obama will bring. Mitt Romney needs your vote. The country needs your vote. Even if the choices aren’t great.
The Iowa Caucuses are coming, and the 2012 election is well underway. Soon our country will be awash in political advertising. Maybe awash is the wrong word, maybe flushed is more accurate. As we don our waders for another slog through the sewers of campaign muck, I would like to suggest an alternative strategy. Instead of the inane mudslinging and mind numbing irrelevant dirt digging, how about having the candidates use their very expensive airtime to actually inform us.
(For the sake of brevity I will use the grammatically correct masculine pronoun to mean both he and she.) My dream candidate will admit honestly to any skeletons in his closet before his opponents have a chance to discover them. This will show a humble candidate who can admit his mistakes, has the wisdom to learn from them and disarm his opponents in the process.
He will be able to defend himself against the criticisms thrown at him by the other candidates with honest and forthright answers.
He will use his advertising opportunities to inform us on his views, his record and his solutions to the problems facing our country. He will be truthful about his take on “hot button” issues. He will not try to spin his way out of a controversy, but will explain himself honestly and completely.
This dream candidate will absolutely refuse to engage in negative campaigning. No digging up thirty-year-old indiscretions, or irrelevant but inflammatory comments made by an opponent. No taking pieces of an interview out of context. No misquoting or twisting facts. The dream candidate will publicly disavow any private group who campaigns negatively on his behalf.
He will go on record, informing all campaign contributors that their support of his campaign will have no influence on his decisions and that his purpose in government is to represent his constituents.
I know. I’m dreaming. It will never happen. But it would be nice to see.