Well, thank goodness the 2018 midterm elections are over. The greatest benefit to me? No more gag-inducing television advertisements for candidates and propositions. (Whew!) Fortunately, I voted early, and was out of the country for the last two weeks of mud—feces?—slinging. Over the last 20 years, political candidates and their so-called appeals to the electorate have gotten progressively worse. Here are examples of what spews forth: |
1. What I have done in the past to deserve your vote. This component is, in the main, equal parts hyperbole and fiction, and represents a relatively small part of the ad. 2. What I will do if elected. If the past 30+ years have taught us anything, it’s that pledges are seldom meant, immediately forgotten, but their sycophants and non-thinking party ideologues still buy in because their candidate “means well”. And—after all—opponents will be blamed for obstruction anyway. 3. Why my opponent is an untrustworthy liar, child molester, and excessive self-abuser. Well, perhaps I exaggerate a bit, but you get the point. The idea is to throw enough horse manure at the wall in the hope that some sticks; the target being an ill-informed, saliva-bubbling, nose-picking public. Yep, that’s what they think of us, and why not? We deserve their disdain by our predictable behavior (Refer to No. 2 above). This component is about 80% of political ads IMHO.
Ah, but we’re through with all that for several years anyway. I hope...
Modern politicians have generally been self-serving prevaricators eager to line their own coffers through almost any means possible (1). Yet during their reelection cycle they cite (as an asset) their experience in politics. WHAT??? Experience in politics makes one only adept at being a politician, not in actually getting anything done. (Refer to No. 2 above.) While I’m on the subject of lying, here’s a summary of 1996 through today: Clinton lied! Bush lied! Obama lied! Trump lied! What’s the surprise here? They’re politicians! Politicians lie—sometimes for no other reason than just to keep in practice. It’s in their DNA. And they insist on being called "honorable" (sigh).
(1) AUTHOR' NOTE: Harry Truman was a notable exception. A WWI veteran, the man who would soon be president tried to re-enlist at the outset of WWII only to be rejected due to his age. He refused secret service protection when he left office so as not to burden the taxpayers. He took only his small Army pension for retirement--nothing else. When Chrysler offered Truman a car, he grudgingly accepted, but would only take the second tier model (Windsor). As president, Truman dropped nukes on the enemy to save American lives and force surrender. He fired a popular "untouchable" general during the Korean War for disobeying orders. John Q. Public didn't like him much. Truman didn't care. He threatened to punch a reporter in the nose for criticizing his daughter's piano playing, and coined the phrase, "The buck stops here". He was also known as "Give 'em hell Harry".
The constant name-calling, amped-up through social media, and print/electronic media where OP-ED people masquerade as journalists, is downright embarrassing to me as US citizen. Even well-educated people I know check their brains at the doors and pile on. Is civility dead??? I’ll answer that for you: Apparently.
I recently came across some early 1990s press releases, photographs, and interviews involving the current president. In one he received an award with Rosa Parks and Muhammed Ali for service to the African-American community. Fellow award recipients and journalists spoke very glowingly about him. Decades later, when he ran as a Republican—recall even the GOP didn’t want him, and the Democrats celebrated with the media because he’d be a cinch to beat—he magically became an instant racist, woman-hater, anti-Muslim duffass, and other things of ill repute. Opponents drug up allegations from the past (they thought) to prove their point. But just like with Teflon Billy C none of it stuck with the mainstream.
The point is not if one either loves or hates Trump. I really don’t care. It’s about name-calling. Have we all reverted to grade school, where—by the way—name calling is no longer permitted? Nice example for the kids, huh? But if we insist on going into the past, how about progressive icon Woodrow Wilson screening Birth of a Nation in the Whitehouse calling it a great motion picture; Hillary calling Robert “KKK” Byrd a great man and her mentor; LBJ saying he’d have those n-words voting Democrat for the next 250 years? (BTW, a close personal friend was the pilot of Air Force One for four presidents; and he told me LBJ and his cronies were the worst with racial slurs.) But I am not interested in tit-for-tat. I’d like name-calling to just STOP. Not likely is it? I guess I’m just an old cornball. One consolation is that through constant misuse, words like "racist" have lost power among those of us with intellectual honesty.
Name-calling is a paradox in our PC-culture or is it? It seems it makes a difference of just who calls the names as usually defined by the nose-in-the-air, oh-so-proper, Hollywood and intellectual elite cadre of impudent snobs. (See what I did there? Not bad, huh?) This phenomenon for me is a reminder of Communists being required to call each other “comrade” and WWII Germans greeting each other with a “Heil Hitler” salute accompanied by the words. In each of those cases people had to conform so as not to standout as “different”—as potential troublemakers. I see the PC-culture as the same species of population control, but that’s material for another essay.
By Gene Myers, your working boy.
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television advertisments, mud slinging, Modern politicians, Harry Truman, name-calling, civility dead, PC culture,