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I can't be the only one who's sick of political attack ads.  I even hate the ads that trash the candidates I'm voting against!  Unfair is unfair, no matter who the target is.  Overblown accusations are still overblown.  Exaggeration of the facts is always exaggeration, whether used by your party or by mine.  Human beings are all mixtures of good ideas and errors, and all are trying to find the answers as best they can.  Trashing the candidate will not make the problems go away.  The problems are bigger than any individuals, and they will only be corrected -- slowly -- by individuals working together.


These attacks against individual people are simply stupid, as though they alone have brought America to ruin -- single-handedly, with no support from thousands of others on the same side of the aisle.  The names of these individuals, who are in reality representative of the constituents who voted for them, are used by political action committees as lightening rods -- symbols for the universal frustration we all feel, as though any individual could point the government in one direction or another, all by himself or herself.  Why are Americans buying into this simplistic, kindergarten view of reality?


The answer is the deep anxiety that we all feel, regardless of what we think the solution is.  It's empowering to have a specific target on which to focus our pent-up hatred…..far more comforting than facing the frightening reality that there isn't any hard cancer to attack, the removal of which will take all our problems away……that, in truth, the forces undoing us were multifarious events that took generations to develop to this present level of disintegration.


If you feel betrayed by the promises of the American Dream, which would you choose: to focus your angst against a specific person, secure in the conviction that if only Robin Hood can slay the Sherriff of Nottingham and his henchmen, truth, justice and prosperity will once again be restored to the land -- or to face the possibility that all of your efforts are like fighting against smoke, and that you will have to continue suffering a long, drawn-out battle for many years before the influences at work finally have time to correct themselves and return to some sort of balance?  It's a no-brainer; most people would pick the short-term choice that gives them some sense of control, even though it may be a complete and total illusion.  And this is why political attack ads find a receptive audience.  There is nothing new about this political strategy, but this year (2010) the volume has reached a level that we have never experienced before. 


The result of this is a childish, overly critical judgment of our elected representatives that we would object to if it were applied to us.  Every mature man and woman knows, from personal life experience, that the way we learn and grow is through our mistakes.  Even Gandhi learned that way! 


When faced by a life crisis, we make the best decision we can at that moment based on the information at our disposal.  But it often happens that new information comes to light a few months or years later, making us reassess what we thought was true or effective.  If we are really growing as human beings, we sometimes have to make the hard choice of reversing our opinion and changing our behavior in light of this new evidence.  Every person on the face of the earth has the right to do this….unless, of course, that person happens to be a politician.  I first noticed this several years ago. 


When John Kerry reversed his support of the Iraq War as new information was revealed -- following the prerogative of every mature human being since the dawn of time -- the opposing party castigated him for "flip-flopping."  What a neat sounding phrase; the PR people must have been really proud of that one.  It was even better than "Obamacare" or "the failed stimulus plan" (which, in point of fact, hasn't had time to fail because it's only halfway accomplished and is actually making progress in exactly the way it was expected to -- not fast enough for many people, but not in any way failing its blueprint.) 


These catch-phrases coat reality with comic book colors.  Men are not allowed to follow universal human patterns of development; they have to be set in stone forever, like Michelangelo's Moses.  And long-term plans that were clearly projected to take four years to bear significant fruit are deemed failures by an impatient public, after only two.


Ever since 9/11, Americans have searched for simple fixes against amorphous, impalpable enemies whose effects are felt but whom we cannot lay our hands on physically.  The frustration is making us crazy.  We're supposed to be John Wayne, Marshall Dillon-type good guys who can ride into town, blow the bad guys away, and then ride off into the sunset knowing that justice has been restored.  How did this rug get pulled out from under us?  How did holes get shot in our white hats?


It seemed to happen in one day, but it was the result of years of preparation and decades of international decision making, some good and some not so, following the eternal pattern of human trial-and-error.  There were no evil comic-book villains in the halls of Congress or in the White House, nor are there any today.  We only have human beings who try their best to figure things out based on the information they have in the present moment.  That doesn't conform to the catch-phrase mentality of public relations firms, but it is the truth.


Obviously, we have different political opinions.  Obviously we will vote differently on various issues.  All I'm asking is that you base your vote on real research into the facts that you have done yourself.  Please don't let yourself be controlled by the propaganda of shadowy entities that won't even identify themselves, pouring money into political ads for God knows what purposes that will work-out to their own benefit. 


You -- and your vote -- are worth more respect than that.

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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
It is a politicians game, which appears to become nastier with each succeeding election.

"Mean Dean"
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Avatar Reviewed by Mean Dean
November 06, 2010
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