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.