Repel the attackers–first start with your own hypocrisy

Dirty politics

Put it right up there in the certain category with death, taxes and holding a losing lottery ticket.

You’d have to ask a candidate to try to explain the phenomenon of wanting something so badly he or she would stoop to personal attacks to lower the opponent to a conquerable height rather than elevate himself to an admirable altitude. That goes double for some supporters of candidates.

Yes, we’re talking about the mindless TV and radio attack ads that are little more than legal daggers buried quick and deep in the ribs of an opponent. They are as educational as a postage stamp and as reliable as an anonymous Internet comment. Yet, every election cycle, candidates spend millions on these morsels of mayhem because you, the consumer, apparently eat them up

We are also talking about community campaigns that fling fiction like it’s fact and focus invective on foes who stand in their way. This is not merely a lacking degree of political decorum, either. It’s rotten campaigning that consistently brings out the worst in people. It keeps good candidates from seeking office and disgusts some potential voters to the point that they would rather exercise the TV remote than their most sacred right as an American citizen.

Dirty politics is every bit as much a crime of the consumer as it is of the perpetrator. The people who engage in these pathetic ad buys and grassroots whisper campaigns do it because ultimately, they’re rewarded for it. By whom? By you and me.

We urge citizens to examine their role in this ritual and at least consider a compromise. Pay attention to how much time you spend watching and listening to TV and radio political ads. Then pledge you’ll spend at least that much time exploring candidates’ positions on issues; the real positions, not the positions stated by bloodthirsty opponents.

That way the republic will be better served, and we’re pretty sure you’ll feel better about your vote, too.

Nice point. Only problem is, that the Coeur d’Alene Press (20 October 2010) then went on to publish any number of attack ads masquerading as letters to the editor. Liberals: Fed up by falsehoods by Ray Fink. Taxes: Washington isn’t listening By Harold Blain, Liberals: Hypocrisy is overwhelming by Bruce Miller and Feds: Flourish while others hurt by Art Watanabe.

Actually, Mr. Watanabe in particular could have done the research as had Lynn Hyer on the same subject of why there was no COLA increase on Social Security this year.  The COLA must be based on the Consumer Price Index; and in economically tough times, if the CPI had not measurably increased, then neither will the COLA.  Because, that is the law.  And that law was passed back in 1970.  But here is the other issue that Mr. Watanabe brings front and center, liberalism from the federal government made Social Security in all of its tax and spend glory as an entitlement program possible in the first place.  A few years ago, when the GOP were in charge and GW wanted to privatize this same federally sponsored entitlement program, would Mr. Watanabe have declared hands off my entitlement program; or, have been all for such a privatization?  That should say something right there.  The Press publishes these fictions for letters then in an editorial, tries to elevate itself above them.

The question that I have for Ray Fink and Bruce Miller is this; first, Mr. Fink:  why all the victimology pouring forth from your letter to the editor?  Oh yeah, Fox News does indeed have a high rating, it is routinely watched by people who’d vote for (I am not a witch) Christine O’Donnell who engages in the same utterly ignorant arguments about the U.S. Constitution that has been found in letters to the editors, blog forums and message boards across the nation.  If the utterly ignorant want to vote for an utterly ignorant politician to go to Washington, D.C.; then yes, they’ll get their utterly ignorant opinions [instead of facts] from such channels as Fox News.  But, will the nation be better off with people like this?

Further, for both Miller and Fink; why is someone suddenly a “liberal” who rightly criticizes the GOP for its extremism?  I point the both of you to the following Guest Editorial by Linda Fillios.  Those she mentions by name, such as Larry Spencer are a demonstration of extremism that literally eats their fellow GOP and because of their less than admirable antics, became the reason for the above Press editorial.  People such as Jimmy Pappas should be able to make such criticisms without having the label of “liberal” tied around their respective necks like an albatross!  Conservative by definition is a centrist.  And no conservative by their behavior, goes off the deep end.

Now for the fellow who whines about taxes.  Apparently Mr. Blain is rather confused about exactly what the federal government does.  The government has never actually been accused of setting up a business in competition with the private sector until now.  And goes on to “make its profits” through your taxes.  However, Mr. Blain’s rambling letter doesn’t only involve taxes as he goes on to complain about just how long politicians actually serve in office.  Well now, I believe I have an answer about the lack of term limits.  For one thing, the GOP only supported term limits until they began to realize that they could just as easily be subjected to the same policy.  Then they dropped it.  We the voters always did have the capacity to exercise term limits on any politician we deemed had served too long and had no longer served a useful purpose, by voting for his or her opponent instead.  If Mr. Blain wants to complain now about incumbent politicians who “serve too long” then he should look in the mirror.

With Blain’s reference to an “unfair tax code,” what he probably means is that GW’s tax cuts that favored in particular the wealthiest 1% of the populace, upon their lapsing by I am assuming 2011, unless they are renewed only means that people who make $2,500.00 or more simply see their tax rates return to their pre-GW levels.  Which was, at the time, 39%.  Oh, and at one time, taxes on the wealthiest were around 90%.  So, what, Mr. Blain, would be the definition of a “fair tax?”  Let’s put it bluntly, that a “flat tax” of 10% would be less fair to the very poor and be a minor blip on the radar screen of the truly wealthy.  If in fact that is what Blain refers to.  So, while Blain is inveighing against the IRS and incumbent politicians that as to the latter, he is also responsible for returning to office, what is his point?

The Coeur d’Alene Press could do itself a real favor.  That when it publishes elevated editorials such as appeared at the top of this post, it could reduce to a minimum the whiny and infantile letters that are routinely published.

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