Thursday, September 30, 2010

This election season is a perfect storm of insidiosity

This is the most frustrating election season of any I can recall. What is happening now is way beyond rhetoric. 

What we have today is a perfect storm of political insidiosity, which is a combination of candidate  desperation, millions of dollars in campaign cash, combined with too many uneducated voters.

The desperate candidates are using campaign cash to buy influence and ads designed to sway people who have not followed nor even claim to care about politics. Political neophytes are the most disastrous aspect of this election season because they don't know enough about the system to distrust the rhetoric they are being bombarded with. They are inexperienced enough to believe the endless lies and innuendos that are being thrust upon them.

Doesn't it make sense that the richest among us, the only ones who have the money left to throw toward politicians, are going to give it to those who will keep them rich? Big money is paying for the candidates they can buy to vote their way. Very wealthy people don't need tax cuts! Are those people going to give a damn about us regular people when they get into office? Wake up! They want to buy your vote. 

A vote is an honor, a privilege, and our right as Americans. Don't throw it away or let anyone try rent it from you. You will be evicted. A vote is a tool, the only tool we have to affect our own destiny. We must use it wisely.

Interestingly, I have often said during times of my own political frustration, that what we need is a tea party. What I referred to was a fight against the tyranny that exists in today's political system; the high cost of living with ever-increasing taxation without representation. The idea was borne by the patriots who fought for freedom from oppression. I never dreamed the noble concept of the tea party could become so bastardized.

How dare these offenders who call themselves Christians but worship the false gods of radio and television entertainers using this historic act as a symbol of their misguided rhetoric. They have tainted the representation of our country's historic freedom for their own gains. This is offensive at best. How many of these people who support the 'tea party' and its darling Sarah Palin ever studied the issues? How many of them have gone beyond just bobbing their heads like the little dog in the car's back window? Do they read multiple newspapers, opinion pieces, held discussions with opposing view points, or have they simply accepted as fact, the garbage they are being fed? 

With access to the Internet, it is easier than ever before to become involved, educated, and engaged. Elections shouldn't be bought with dollars. A far better commodity for our political system is experience, education, and leadership ability.

Do the 'tea party' members realize that open-mindedness is a key to learning? Do they understand that every story has more than one side to it? 

When there is an issue I want to know about, I listen to as many angles as possible, knowing that people's perspectives color a story. Money colors it even more. If you listen to only one radio station or one television network, you should not be qualified to vote for candidates that must represent us all.

If you are inspired by someone, great! But before you make up your mind, go to his critics, hear what people say about him/her before making up your own mind. If people had an open mind, we would be a lot better off.

Candidates are not rock stars. They are not celebrities that should be worshipped. They are people that will make decisions on issues that affect all our lives. Look at their motives. Self-enrichment, ego, and control issues should not be reasons to run for public office. Candidates should have integrity, ability, and intellect. 

By all means know that your vote counts. Make it count by using it wisely. Ask questions. Know the candidates you plan to vote for. Call their offices, read their websites, talk to the other side. Every candidate is colored by his own lens. You must get beyond that lens to see clearly. Do us all a favor--do your homework.