This last political campaign, as conducted by all political parties, was in utter negation of what might have been inspiring, in utter negation of what might have been civil, and in utter negation of what might have been truthful and accurate.
Let’s take stock of what we’ve just endured and discourage the anticipated reoccurrence of this utterly unappealing campaign misconduct.
For starters, it should be at least a misdemeanor for campaigns to lie in the fundraising material that floods and overruns our digital and snail mail boxes.
If there really is someone who will double or triple my contribution, then go bother him for whatever you need.
For days after my final political contribution of this past election cycle, I was solicited by the same candidate for having not contributed.
Other voters received urgent admonitions about failing to vote in a previous election, and given stern school-marmish directives – “Not to let that happen again!” – when those instructing voters often got their facts dead wrong.
We’re numb to candidates being uncivil to each other. But now those who want our support say whatever it takes to get our money.
My central complaint, however, is that not only did we have a dismal set of wannabe nominees across the nation in both parties, judging by their arguments, but also that no one addressed the most significant argument to be considered throughout this dismal election cycle – How exactly are we going to make these partisans, and the conflicting branches of government, and the objecting states, roll up their sleeves and work together after the election?
The Republicans have realized what was “their wildest dream,” gaining control of the U.S. Senate, and their enhanced control of the House.
But now, what are they “gonna do” that’s any different than their prior breath-holding nay-saying stratagems interposed to block the passage of legislation before this election?
Unless Senator Mitch McConnell has changed his mind, his strategy remains to run out the clock on Obama’s presidency for the next two years.
The bi-partisan nightmare is that filibusters can still stall legislation. The President’s veto can kill any bill. Only a two-thirds agreement among the Senators can overturn the President’s veto – and that’s unlikely to happen.
So, we haven’t had governance. We have had psy wars – the never-ending political campaign.
War is the only thing we seem to agree about, with mindless shout-outs by pols, “my country right, never wrong,” and this nation then sticking its imperious snoot in every other nation’s business, by way of recent example, preparing to spend $5B and send more “advisers” to the war in the Middle East, claiming stratospheric moral objectives, while all the time failing to care in bills or budgets for our own hurt citizens here at home.
Reason rots. Empathy recedes. Imagination retreats. Once, we went to the moon. Now our rockets blow up or crash.
God-like Alexander could not sustain his worldly empire from the far side of the River Styx. Great Britain bragged that the sun never set on its empire; but, it sure does now. Has our pride and political entropy made us a nation in decline, on its way to the fate of Greece or Rome?
Richard Reeves wrote, “A lot of history is just dirty politics cleaned up for the consumption of children and other innocents.”
We risk collapse as a nation if we suffer in silence the presumption that “dirty politics” is business as usual, if we can’t reason, imagine, or care for our own, if we can’t again dream of excellence, if we don’t strive to excel, if we don’t insist on truth and fairness in our campaigns.