Schroeder's View

Monday, October 23, 2006

Dirty politics

I don't know about you, but I am so tired of the mud slinging and personality bashing that is going on not only in the federal political campaigns but also state and local races, and amongst potential voters. What have we as a society become?

We are fighting wars to help those less fortunate to be free of tyranny yet what lessons are we teaching? Democracy, the freedom of speech? I don't remember being taught that it is ok to rip apart one's dignity and self worth just to get to where perhaps you don't belong. An elected official is to lead but lead by example - not to do as I say not as I do.

So think about it, what are these illustrious politicians teaching other cultures? Not to mention young and aspiring politicians? We are teaching that you win by proclaiming the faults of others, true or not. In some cases, being a liar is apparently a quality that looks good on a resume or campaign poster. And in the process, the bashing grabs headlines so the politician need not take a stance on issues that actually matter to voters.

The sad thing is that right here in our quaint little region there are those attempting to get elected by means unbecoming of our rural values.

At one point in time I was proud to be from a state that kept the issues real. A politician was admired by his community and adhered to the very laws that they were elected to uphold. They were pillars of the communities and strived to improve the very existence of our communities and to protect every citizen that called them home.

I can turn the radio and television off when those irritating commercials appear stating that so-and-so hasn't paid his taxes or so-and-so accepted campaign funds from Congressman Foley; the Congressman that has been accused of sending sexually explicit emails to former male pages. I can toss the mail and hang up on the telemarketers if they take the low road. Where does it end though?

It appears to me that if you can't play nice, don't play at all. There is some discussion about whether it is right for certain officials to promote certain candidates in Buena Vista County on their off time - but then again, everyone is entitled to their opinion in a democracy. If I want to pull on my jeans after working hours and support a candidate, I'm doing so as a person, not as a representative of my form of career.

We put a lot of energy into campaign season, and I would hope that afterward, some of the passion could be directed to work such as building Habitat for Humanity homes, cleaning up our parks, neighborhood watches, making sure that no kid is left behind within our educational facilities, helping to put a stop to illegal drugs.

* Reach Trudy Schroeder at tschroeder@ stormlakepilottribune.com