This time it's personal

Absurd election rhetoric trivializes the political process

Just when you thought American politics couldn’t get any more inane, now they’re battling for the canine vote.

The presidential campaign this week has been taken up with how the Romneys once treated their family dog on vacations – in a carrier on the roof – and the fact that Barack Obama once ate dog as a youth.

“GOP tries to one-up Obama in quest for dog-loving voters,” one headline read.

It’s rank silliness, of course, but emblematic of a larger,
infinitely more serious problem: the trivialization and personalization of political campaigns.

Of course, the entire Democratic campaign seems to be built on the fact that Mitt Romney is wealthy and you’re not, and, by golly, whether you are going to stand for that. Mr. Obama recently remarked, “I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth” – an obvious class-warfare grenade.

And if Republicans think they’re going to make any headway by ginning up the Obama-ate-dog angle, they’re dimmer than we thought.

One might see why the campaigns want to make it personal – to scare voters away from supporting the other guy. But the news media just gobble it all up like so much junk food and regurgitate it, trivializing and
polluting the political process.

Western Europe is collapsing financially, while the globe is still wobbly from the haymaker of the 2008 economic collapse. Federal spending here continues unabated, while government regulations threaten to put a chokehold on commerce – risking our economy and the very soundness of our currency.

Iran is barreling toward a nuclear weapon with which to decorate its abject hatred of Israel and the United States. Chinese trade and currency policies make it unlikely America’s job base can be rebuilt – though no one in Washington is even talking about that anyway.

The American family is disintegrating before our eyes and, not surprisingly, the culture, our big cities and civility right along with it.

Our constitutional freedoms are hanging by the thread of a judge’s robe, while increasing numbers of misguided folks openly and unashamedly tout all the wonderful benefits of socialism and even communism as displayed nicely in Cuba, Russia, North Korea and elsewhere.

Those of us who believe in capitalism’s power to lift the world through the muscle of individual liberty watch the goings-on with horror and trepidation. The world may never have been this much of a mess, at least not since World War II. And we’re talking about how the candidates look at dogs?

Heaven help us.

To our friends in the media and politics: If you think anything at all about this country and the blessings it has afforded you, stop the insanity you are participating in.

To the national media: Learn how to smell the stench of a day-old red herring and ignore it. Please. And start talking about the issues in an intelligent way. By letting the politicians lead you by the nose off onto meaningless tangents, you in the national media are letting our leaders off the hook and letting America down.

The United States Senate hasn’t even attempted to pass a federal budget in three years. And the consensus seems to be that nothing will get done on America’s fiscal crisis until after the election, and probably not even then. Yet, all the media can do is hammer Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., for offering a specific budget proposal himself. If they don’t like it, where’s the other side’s plan?

This election isn’t about Mr. Obama’s dietary history or Mr. Romney’s money; it’s about your money, and how it’s being spent, and all the other consequential issues of a most consequential moment in time.

If the world’s citizens were really privy to the dry rot that’s now weakening the greatest nation on Earth – which all other nations depend on, whether they like it or not – they’d likely be even more horrified than we are.

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