Fact, fiction and muddy waters

With the Nov. 2 elections fast-approaching, Iíd originally thought to title this weekís column ďcynical-and-sarcastic-musings-on-the-ridiculous-and-potentially-destructive-rantings-and-political-rhetoric-of-various-candidates.Ē

In the end, I decided that was just a touch long-winded, even for me.

I donít know about the rest of you, but Iím getting just a little sick and tired of the casual (and not so casual) mudslinging which seems to accompany each and every election, on nearly every level, year after year. If nothing else itís become pathetically predictable, morally ambiguous (at best) and downright pointless. It accomplishes nothing.

The majority of my friends and acquaintances are fed up with it as well and if youíre not, I donít know what I could possibly say to convince you otherwise. Itís no wonder other countries find us laughable, especially when election time rolls around. All you have to do is look at many of our political leaders, the ways in which some came to power and what, if anything, theyíve actually accomplished.

To put it simply, much of their behavior, especially leading up to Election Day, is quite childish.



In fact, the mudslinging, name-calling and distortion of facts by Republicans and Democrats alike reminds me of two young children who hatch a plan to sneak their way into the proverbial cookie jar atop the refrigerator. While one steadies a rickety chair, the other climbs atop it and reaches to pilfer the out-of-reach prize. The first child gets distracted, causing the chair to wobble precipitously, the second looks down to chastise the firstís inattention, following which the cookie jar crashes to the floor and shatters. Both children then begin to point fingers, one blaming the other for the mishap, and neither have the common sense to realize they shouldnít have been trying to sneak the cookies in the first place.

That comparison may be a bit simplistic, but thatís how it seems to me lately.

And then thereís the oft-maligned Tea Party Patriots.

Now donít get me wrong, I have a fair amount of respect for any individual or group who makes the decision to become more politically involved and voice an opinion. This is our country after all (at least itís supposed to be) and thatís the right and responsibility of every American. And while I find the various silly hats, costumes and often misleading signs I see at Tea Party rallies the nation over, my particular problem with those involved stems, not from the individuals themselves, but their more visible leaders.

One-time Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin has always struck me as an airhead and somewhat moronic in her political efforts. Iím fairly sure she doesnít mean any harm with her cutesy, ex-cheerleader, soccer mom portrayal, I simply donít think thatís what our country needs right now. Tea Party candidate Christine OíDonnell isnít much better (if not much worse) and Carl Paladino, in all honesty, scares the living hell out of me. You can tell a lot about any group from its leadership and, while I respect the Tea Party and the opinions of its members, itís just not for me.

Needless to say, I will be voting on Nov. 2 and many who know me may be surprised that I do not vote for one party over the other absolutely. While itís true I tend to lean to the left, politically speaking, Iíve always found it made much more sense to vote for the individual, not his or her party.

Unfortunately, many people do just that. In my mind, theyíre wearing blinders and itís really no different than cheering for a professional sports team at that point. On one side you have your team, on the other side is the enemy. It just doesnít make sense to me.

So before you go out and vote on Election Day, do yourself a favor and examine the facts, not the fiction. Name-calling and finger pointing will get us nowhere and itís about time we started to work together for once.

The blame game does nothing but muddy the waters.

Follow me on Twitter ... @evesunbrian

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