There’s just no fun in politics any more
By Dale King
Can you remember when politics were fun? When politicians didn’t try their best to degrade and destroy their opponents? When they actually talked about serving the people instead of puffing up their allegiance to the Republican or Democrat parties or some power broker in Washington, D.C.?
If you accept what politicians say as fact, it appears we have a bleak future. Iran’s going to nuke Israel. Then, the US will be drawn into World War III – if global climate change doesn’t kill us all first.
Then there’s the possibility of another 9/11 attack. Or more terrorists with bombs in their shoes and underwear. Where is a sane person to turn?
Well, certainly not to TV or radio. The talk shows on Fox are a constant stream of negativity. Sean Hannity bemoans, Bill O’Reilly castigates. Rush Limbaugh pontificates. And in between crying, Glenn Beck harps on the need for all of us to have an emergency food supply or bags of seeds to grow a survival garden after something dreadful happens.
All that while slamming politicians.
Politics used to be productive. Our forefathers formed political parties as a means of moving the country along through responsible debate and forward-thinking endeavors.
I remember when political advertising was a good thing. Politicians used them to outline their agendas and let us know where they stood on the issues. Now, they’re using trash ads, most of them aimed at disgracing their challengers. These people must spending innumerable hours searching for skeletons in the closets of their foes – unpaid tax bills, irresponsible behavior, a mistress here, a love child there, anything to make the opponent look bad. Not just bad, but unworthy of electing.
Politics used to be fun. In my early days in the newspaper trade, I looked forward to elections. In my home town in Massachusetts, there was a great tradition held in conjunction with city elections. On the Thursday night before Election Day, the local synagogue used to sponsor an old-fashioned political rally. It was meant to be an enjoyable night for all. They cooked up Kosher hot dogs and decorated the meeting hall with balloons and banners. It was great fun.
Then, even those festivities got polluted by negativism. I recall how the mayor once used it to announce he was going to veto the tax rate set by the City Council. Another time, two political rivals got into a seriously nasty argument. It ruined the whole night.
I know a lot of this stuff trickles down from either Washington or Tallahassee. It often seems the administration has one goal: to give the people what they DON’T want. It happened with health care reform. And now, the nation’s leaders seem bent on taking away our freedom to eat at fast food places and have an occasional drink of a bubbly, sugary cola.
Senior citizens are also seeing their Social Security checks frozen for the second year in a row and Medicare being cut a half-trillion dollars.
The U.S. Constitution promises Americans “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” It’s time politicians got a little happier and a lot less vindictive.