I was talking with a friend about the upcoming election the other day who sincerely remarked - "Throw the bums out!" There clearly are some "bums" in office. The folk in power have not addressed the serious issues we face as well as they could have and they've done an even poorer job of capitalizing on the good things they have done. The result is legitimate anger and frustration. I understand, "throw the bums out." The question is whether or not the alternative is a good one.
On Sunday, Dick Polman, columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer posted a column with a quiz regarding some things said by candidates for office this year and political statements by others in the news. Seriously, you need to take the quiz.
Think about the quotes... and ask whether these are really the kind of people you want elected? Whether these are the kind of people you want framing our political discourse? And they are not running for local dog catcher, these are folk running on major party tickets for the House, the Senate, for governor of states. These are people who get interviewed on television on the national news Then realize that only one of the people being quoted is currently in office. The rest are all trying to capitalize on "throw the bums out" either as candidates or in building political influence for themselves and their friends.
I have to say that these folk frighten me. They are riding a legitimate reasonable wave of frustration and anger but if they actually win positions of influence, things will get much, much worse. The issues are difficult and complicated. The solutions are neither simple nor free. Our nation does not have consensus regarding the solutions and anything that is done will require serious public relations work. And finally, at least the Republican Party has demonstrated no desire to work with those across the aisle. Add that all together and electing a bunch of ignorant crazies cannot but make things worse.
The only positive is that comedians already have an abundance of new material. I saw this parody of a political campaign ad. It would be hilarious if it wasn't so true.