Post-Election Day At Last

This mid-term election season was the meanest, nastiest one that I remember. The belligerent television ads and newspaper ads were often well beyond any semblance of decent or factual debate. And I really believe the meanest, nastiest ads were on the Republican side of things in the Minnesota market. Not that all the Democrats’ ads were kind or factual, either, but there were more Democrats who appeared to temper their ads to focus on what they were going to accomplish rather than ripping apart their opponents. Think of Amy Klobuchar here.

For those of you who don’t agree, read my words again. I am not picking a fight here. I am saying what I observed with the acknowledgement that there were exceptions.

What I am keenly aware of is the way fear and patriotism are trotted out as conveniences to sway the opinions of voters even if the stories used as persuasive examples are out of context, missing pertinent information that would complete the picture, or just plain incorrect. And this is the part that is so exhausting.

Today, the day after the election, I feel relief. Relief that the ads are done for a while (although damn sure not long enough). Relief that maybe we can settle into the holiday season for a month or two, get a good dose of coziness. Relief that my cell phone won’t ring with yet another caller who wants to know if I intend to vote and which issues are likely to influence that vote.

You know what I’d really love to see before the next election? A new law passed that restricts how long before an election campaign ads can run. One month is a nice time frame. And how about an acknowledgment that people get so run down by the bickering and posturing that they just want to run away to a deserted island? Wouldn’t it be amazing if our elected officials focused more on the work of making our country good for all rather than raising money for the next election cycle? If no one was allowed to stump for anyone else or talk about anyone else because all candidates had to stand on their own platforms?

That’s my daydream for today. Excuse me, I think I need to go cue up some John Lennon.


  1. John Lennon is always a great choice. Imagine that money is put into our education system, green technology, and making lives better for all people not just the privileged. If all those billions of dollars are spent on making things actually better how much more peaceful our world would be. I think the Dutch have a great system for money and campaigns and advertising…everyone gets the same amount of money for a campaign, no one can take money from outside sources and the elected officials are actually spending time on legislation and not money and next election cycle. We need to start moving towards this in the USA. Hopefully we all can get a break before the 2020 season starts.

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  2. My wife and I stopped watching “Jeopardy” several months ago as soon as the political ads started up (our regular diet is PBS, which doesn’t air political ads). For a while, we used the mute button on the remote, but sometimes we’re not quick enough. Even if we are, we still have to suffer through those grainy, unflattering images of the opponent.

    You’re right, both parties are guilty, but Republicans are shamelessly negative, and it’s on full display at their convention every four years. If all you have are tax cuts for the rich, and slashing and burning of government…and no other ideas to improve society…what do you do? You demonize the other side. That’s been their standard operating procedure through Nixon’s “dirty tricks,” Lee Atwater, Whitewater, the Swift Boat smear campaign, “Lock Her Up,” and beyond.

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    1. Yes, yes, and yes. I am heartened by the inroads made by Democrats yesterday, but it isn’t enough. Yet. But I am happy to be in Minnesota, where we have two Democrat women senators, a Democrat governor, and have elected the first woman Somali-American member of the House of Representatives. I think I’ll stay here for a while.

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