I don’t much care for national or local politics. The reason is that I think campaigning brings out the worst in all of us.
In almost every situation, if we’re truly honest, each candidate brings both positives and negatives to the table. We may not always agree with everything a candidate proposes, but, we’re likely to find at least some things we can all agree on if we try. Campaigns always focus on the incredible divides, the areas where we most vehemently disagree with each other. Whenever you try to reach out and bring people together, isn’t the usual approach to focus on those things that make us the same? It’s unlikely that any candidate or political party will be successful at bringing our nation together after the elections as long as we focus so exclusively on what makes us different.
In times past there were certain limits (spoken or unspoken) that were observed. For instance, when FDR was president the press didn’t take photos of him in his wheelchair. He needed to be seen by the nation as strong. During those tough times it didn’t do anyone any good to have their president appear weak. I think most people would agree that FDR’s presidential legacy is a pretty strong one. Oh, there are a number of initiatives that some would disagree with and, years later, other personal things have come to light that were kept hidden while he was our president, but, he managed to hold our country together during a Great Depression and a World War.
JFK was treated in much the same manner. There were certain personal issues that remained off limits to the press. Years later some of his personal life was revealed that indicated his life had dark corners that could have tarnished his presidency. However, his presidential legacy is also one that, although short, is still revered by many.
When did we cross over into this “anything goes” form of political reporting? When did the lives of the wives and children and even parents of political candidates become open targets for the press and the public?
This post is not meant to be partisan in any manner at all. It is completely inconsequential what party or candidate one is for or against. It has to do with how we all act as human beings toward one another. Things have become so nasty in our political campaigns that it causes me to be ashamed of all of our parties and the media who report their activities. There are so many celebrities who are given an open microphone to talk about who they support and what they believe that one would think they, in fact, represent a majority of the people in our country. If normal, everyday folks across the nation were given the same platform and opportunity it might be easier to tell what percentages are really true. The balance has been given up for the lure Tinsel-town celebs add to a candidates campaign. Too bad. It’s hard now for me to watch movies of some of these actors after the nasty remarks they’ve made in public. Saying what you think is your right. How you say it is your choice. They should make the choice more wisely.
I have a fear that those people who would be the best leaders for our country have decided to leave the invasive and nasty world of politics in order to shield their families from that horrible environment. Although I would be the last person who would run for an office, if I were qualified I wouldn’t do it because my family doesn’t deserve to suffer like that.
Long story short, shame on all of us who enter into the nasty, spiteful conversations that bring out the worst in us. No matter who gets the presidency, I’m sure that we’re all going to be alright if we continue to be our best and legitimately try to work together to solve our problems. If it’s only about winning a race, then we’ve all lost already, right?