Sunday, October 12, 2008

Toning down the trash talk

Generally speaking when people are engaged in public trash talk, it's on a football field or basketball court. These days it has spilled over into our national election and, frankly, I'm sick to death of it.

It's one thing for the candidates for any office, and most especially for president of the United States, to disagree, sometimes vehemently, with an opponent on the issues. If everyone agreed with everyone else on every strategy for the country, there'd be no need for an election. What I'm fed up with is the trash talk that goes beyond character and straight to character assassination. These are the nasty innuendoes and outright lies tossed around by a candidate designed to whip the public into a frenzy and feed into their worst fears. You know exactly the ones I mean:

* The deliberate use at too many rallies of Barack Obama's middle name -- Hussein -- not as a simple fact, but strictly because it raises the sceptre of Iraq's Saddam Hussein and encourages all the biases that go along with it.

* Tossing out Obama's "relationship" with a '60s protestor and deliberately describing the man as a terrorist, because it stirs all those fears that lie deep in our hearts since September 11. Now if Barack Obama and this man had been conducting protests, bombings or anything else side by side in the '60s, this would certainly be a legitimate character issue. The truth, however, is that Obama was only eight back then, and in the years since Obama has been acquainted with this man, he is a respected college professor and part of the Chicago political establishment.

Apparently this week even Senator John McCain realized that perhaps he was feeding the hysteria of misconceptions. A decent man by all reports, he belatedly tried to quell the outrageous rhetoric at his rallies...and was booed by his own supporters. Frankly, this scares the living daylights out of me.

It is way past time to tone down this kind of trash talk and stick to the issues that matter to everyone of us who live on Main Street, who have dwindling savings thanks to the financial crisis, who are scared about our jobs, who are dealing with aging parents who need prescriptions and kids who're ready for college.

We need leaders who understand that any candidate running for the highest office in the land should be treated respectfully and with dignity. One of them will be in office in November and it is the duty of the other one to make the rest of us be at peace with that. Fostering fear and hatred isn't the way to unite a country. It's the lowest way to lead us down a very slippery slope.

Stick to the facts. Discuss your plans. Give us hope. Is that so complicated for a politician to grasp?

Sherryl Woods

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6 Comments:

Blogger MargaretD said...

I say "AMEN' to this! I am so tired of the gloom and doom commcercials "If you don't vote for me"... EGADS! How many more weeks of this?

When are they going to figure out that all we want to hear is what the plan is, how are you going to do it...we don't want to hear what happened 20 years ago.

October 13, 2008 7:40 AM  
Blogger Sherryl said...

Less than three weeks, MargaretD, thank goodness. Not sure which part of the country you're in, but I'm in the Washington, DC television market and we get it all. Of course, once I hit Florida this weekend, where I actually vote, my phone will also be ringing off the hook. Oh goody! Something more to look forward to.

October 15, 2008 4:48 AM  
Blogger carol said...

I am Sherry's neighbor and friend, and she is Archie's and Maggie's Godmother. And all four of us have had it. The rallies of the republican core voters has turned into the rallies of the base.

Hatred begets ugliness, and mudslinging is what kids do, just state your position, and why we should vote to you. And to all the independents these guys are very different and you should be able to know who to vote for by now.

October 16, 2008 1:37 PM  
Blogger MargaretD said...

I am from Wisconsin.....its considered a "battle state".

We are all weary of this and after last night's debate, I can't believe they're still both standing!

October 16, 2008 7:10 PM  
Blogger MargaretD said...

I am from Wisconsin.....its considered a "battle state".

We are all weary of this and after last night's debate, I can't believe they're still both standing!

October 16, 2008 7:11 PM  
Blogger Sherryl said...

Living in a battleground state seems to mean being deluged with more and more advertising. Even though I'm an information and political junkie, it does get to be way too much.

October 18, 2008 10:49 AM  

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