Commentary: We can disagree, but knock off the name-calling
I'm getting pretty sick and tired of all this, and it is only the end of August. By Nov. 2, there could be such a verbal war going on between Republicans and Democrats, our nation's stability and security will take a serious worldwide hit. I'm no...
I'm getting pretty sick and tired of all this, and it is only the end of August. By Nov. 2, there could be such a verbal war going on between Republicans and Democrats, our nation's stability and security will take a serious worldwide hit. I'm not kidding.
The other day I received an e-mail from a person not agreeing with something I wrote. I welcome these comments and encourage people, who agree with me or not, to drop me a line, preferably by e-mail. I generally learn something from these contacts with Budgeteer readers, and I appreciate individual comments, criticisms and, occasionally, some praise.
In reflection, I am a little annoyed with this particular phone call because the individual on the other end of the line seemed to have an uncompromising and vindictive grudge to bear. He talked to me, in a gentlemanly fashion, commenting on my apparent support of George Bush, and I thanked him for his comments. He wondered why I was not being fair with the other side in my writings? We had a nice visit over the phone and parted, I believed, in a respectable manner. His telephone manners were great, and I felt pretty good about the call. Nice guy, I reasoned.
Then he sent me an e-mail using the following quote referring to George Bush as a "lying, dumb little weasel." President Bush, by another political operative, has also been accused of being another Hitler and former Vice President Al Gore said Bush betrayed our country. I've heard worse about other political figures from time to time, but such talk is surely ridiculous, self-destructive and mostly immature. This fellow hates George Bush with a passion, and his vindictiveness, during this presidential contest, represents more than a name-calling contest. His loathing of Bush is really his reflection of hate for all Republicans and the hisses and boos, though unbalanced, could have worldwide implications. Unfortunately, his attitude has spread throughout the country like wildfire, and today, our elective process is in a tailspin of innuendo and outright personal attack flavored with unspeakable untruths of the worst magnitude.
As the presidential campaign begins to heat up now, we have to be very careful to address the seriousness of this election process from a position of knowledge and at least a general understanding of the issues at stake here. Name calling just doesn't fit in the agenda. Name-calling is juvenile and certainly in bad taste. Name-calling reflects a petty, erratic image of America, and the world is watching.
President George Bush and Sen. John Kerry represent just two players in this drama. Consider, however, one-third of our United States Senate seats are also up for grabs, and all 435 seats in the United States House of Representatives will also be on the ballot. Locally, in Minnesota, all state House seats are up for re-election, in addition to a number of county commissioner seats and numerous other government positions.
Congressional, legislative and county board members are the elected people that ultimately earmark and spend our money through the tax formula process. These folks are our immediate contact with the realities of governmental operation that means, logically, they are our immediate contact with the realities of life.
The presidential campaign, naturally, is the front-runner in all this. Our nation's leaders, both Republican and Democratic, seem to have lost the import of their responsibilities as representatives of the people. Our nation is at war and, no, it wasn't a trumped up war started by George Bush. Terrorism has been around for a long time, and it will continue to plague free societies in the years to come. The American people deserve a more refined and objective presidential campaign to spell out the realism we are facing.
All Democrats are not bad, nor are all Republicans. The distinct difference is how each is willing to counter worldwide problems affecting our society. That is what the people want to hear, what are the issues on the table and how are you, as our elected officials, going to address these problems. Calling the opposition a "lying, dumb little weasel" is not the approach I have in mind. I suspect most thinking Americans agree with me. However, the political operatives have another agenda. It is called "power," and logic is too often brushed aside in the debate process.