Skepticism

Election reflection

It’s finally Election Day, which means the end of the incessant barrage of campaign ads. I have a confession to make. I’ve been feeling very cynical about this election for a long time now. I watch very little television, generally, but the snippets I catch offer glimpses of the divisiveness the old media spew, 24-7, in an attempt to cash in on the current political climate in the US. It’s really quite sickening.

I think independent commentator Dan Carlin nailed it in a recent podcast. I’d encourage you all to check out the entire podcast, including the fantastic Eisenhower speech at the tail end, but if you don’t, his basic point is that whatever the outcome of this election, thanks to the rhetoric that’s been circulated in this campaign, we will have a large percentage of the population who believes whole heartedly that the president is not just wrong, but actively evil. And that the people that voted for him are somehow less “American” than they are, whatever that means.

I’m not sure how much more of this we can take. It seems that with every election, the Democrats and Republicans reach new heights of dehumanizing each other in order to gain and/or maintain power. Where does this leave us? It honestly wouldn’t surprise me if, four years from now, candidate a releases an ad claiming that candidate b has sold his/her soul to satan, and shows the paperwork to prove it. We need to start rehumanizing each other. I think people are mostly good, and want what’s best for our country, but just have different ideas about what that looks like and how to get there.

So I guess you could call this a friendly reminder (to you as well as to myself) to keep in mind that we are all in this together, and while we may disagree, we should aspire to do so while simultaneously maintaining respect for those with whom we differ. Which is something that I think most of us around here get, but maybe we can try to spread it around.

Related Articles

16 Comments

  1. So, let me get this straight… What you are saying is that this election was not in fact between a soul-sucking republican war-monger and a socialist muslim terrorist?

    I have to totally rethink my switch to Islam…

  2. @carr2d2. I agree. I am pretty sick of the election thing too.

    I know our elections seem to be dirtier every cycle. The sheer volume of dirt is increasing, that’s for sure. If you makes your feel any better, our recent elections really aren’t the worst. Check out some of our first elections in America:

    mully410.blogspot.com/2008/08/do-you-think-political-campaign-are.html

  3. It honestly wouldn’t surprise me if, four years from now, candidate a releases an ad claiming that candidate b has sold his/her soul to satan, and shows the paperwork to prove it.

    I already own the sou

    I mean, Satan already owns the souls of candidates for major public office.

    I am a Hedge

  4. I think the dehumanization is exacerbated by the 24/7 news media. History tells us that campaigns have always been this evil. There are records of campaign literature stating that if one candidate wins, hookers will start selling themselves out of the local churches. Now, I’m not saying that’s a bad thing but…

    I think back in the day when people were more concerned with their jobs and lives…they had to really research a candidate to choose who to vote for. They weren’t inundated like we are today. The rhetoric is no worse….but the volume has increased.

  5. It honestly wouldn’t surprise me if, four years from now, candidate a releases an ad claiming that candidate b has sold his/her soul to satan

    Like this one? It may not say “she sold her soul to Satan” in so many words, but it is specifically meant to evoke the same kind of reaction. I totally agree with you; I wish we could learn to disagree in this country without demonizing those we disagree with.

  6. As a Canadian, I gotta say, no wonder you’re tired of election stuff. I can’t believe how long the campaign goes on for you Americans… why oh why is it so long? There has definitely been enough time to demonize all candidates three times over!

  7. Ahhh, Dan Carlin _ have been a regular listener to both his political and his history show for a while now, and I highly recommend both (in fact, I will say that I think that the political show is most interesting when I disagree with him, as he actually takes the time to explain where he’s coming from).

    I heard this one a couple of weeks ago, and I thought that he made a good point. No matter how becomes president, the political atmosphere is so venemous that they will be seen as being evil, as having “stolen” the election, and as being incapable of leading – no matter how succesful they are. Beyond the simple “hey, I think the guy’s inept” or disagreement with policy out to such bizarre things as accusations of murder, terrorism, corruption (even in the face of contrary evidence), etc. etc.

    I first remember this with Clinton, but it may be that that was the first time that I was old enough to notice. Any of the older board members remember if it was this bad with earlier contests?

  8. … whatever the outcome of this election, thanks to the rhetoric that’s been circulated in this campaign, we will have a large percentage of the population who believes whole heartedly that the president is not just wrong, but actively evil.

    That much is ok. I’ve believed for 7 years that George W. Bush is not just wrong, but actively evil.
    What worries me, is that for decades right wing hate radio has been advocating violence against liberals. And now they’ve tagged Obama as a liberal.

    Ironically, Obama has made the best effort I recall to run a clean and positive campaign, which focused on the issues. Perhaps that’s why the reactionaries hate him so.

  9. Any of the older board members remember if it was this bad with earlier contests?

    If memory serves, 1804, 1808, 1852, 1856, and 1972 are famous for their ugliness – and I think about as bad as this one. (In an interestingly parallel with the current election. Thomas Jefferson’s opponents tried to smear him as an atheist every time he ran for public office. Unlike political officials today, Jefferson was willing to state, while on the campaign trail, that while he wasn’t an atheist himself, there should be nothing wrong with voting for an atheist.)

Leave a Reply

You May Also Enjoy

Close
Close