My docs say that I’m supposed to stay away from things that might over excite me for a week or so. They even took away my fire department pager. That pretty much left it to convention coverage as I dozed in and out of whatever it was that they were giving me. The one thing I’ve been wondering about is the disappointment expressed by so many pundits that no one has brought out the pit bull to tear apart McCain and the Republicans, and that people such as the Clintons and Biden were just not hitting the home run ball of slash and burn politics.
To be sure, our centuries are filled with outrageous attacks and counter attacks during presidential campaigns, but there is a huge difference today. Today we have instantaneous, twenty-four hour news coverage flowing out to all people everywhere with increasingly little reserved judgment, or even competent analysis, from so-called journalists. Moreover, at least in some parts of the country, hard-core right wing radio, and some television, dominate the airways with gross distortions of truth mixed in with entirely made up ‘facts,’ vomited out by commentators unafraid to vilify anyone with whom they disagree.
Have we sunk so low that “Swift Boating” is the expected norm for presidential politics? Have presidential politics become the place for setting up and then destroying another candidate’s reputation, honor, dignity and humanity? I hope not, and the speeches and crowd reaction at the Democratic convention proved otherwise. Perhaps the Republican convention will do likewise. We saw a taste of that grassroots change in our own community just a few weeks ago in a non-partisan race for Superior Court Judge. One candidate and his supporters came out swinging with a small town version of Karl Rove political action. The other simply presented himself with honesty and forthrightness. The latter won by a landslide. Maybe that’s a hint that the American voting public is tired of being duped by vicious, malicious political manipulators.