Friday, November 5, 2010

We Maaaay Look Like Paaaaansies....

With the exception of our excellent military, Americans are a pretty soft bunch. This isn't an all bad thing, however. Whenever a disaster in the world happens, we get busy sending money. We have a network for taking care of disabled people that unrivaled throughout the world. Charities know that all they have to do is show an American an emaciated child, and the American will open their wallet.
But when it comes to politics, it is not a good thing for Americans to be soft. We are buying into the message that "civility" must trump the truth because we've lost the toughness that made this country great. We are horrified by "negative" or "attack" ads that candidates put out that in fact do nothing more than tell the truth about their opponent. Television personalities that make millions from pontificating about politics decry the channels that make their profession possible because these channels supposedly foster incivility. Our own President does everything he can to be seen and heard every day by every American, and then bemoans the "24/7 news cycle" that puts him on their airwaves.

Americans should not put up with this. The issues we need to talk about are being obscured by politicians trying to get the most positive media coverage by looking like the "civil" candidate. And look where that got us: John McCain, the media darling for years, ran a campaign that avoided asking the hard questions about Barack Obama and his policies, and Obama cruised to victory. We don't want to talk about Social Security's insolvency because the Democrats have made sure that any discussion of the subject is automatically characterized as frightening to older people. Americans, especially the Republicans, are being cowed by the very idea that they might be seen as uncouth when tackling the hard issues that we face.

This is unacceptable. Our Founding Fathers engaged in duels over political ideas. They put their lives on the line for the principles of this country. And they absolutely savaged each other when running for office. Don't believe me? You want proof? Here you go!

Keep this in mind the next time you hear that this election cycle was the most negative ever (which seems to be the meme every election year). We're pansies compared to our Founding Fathers.

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