-- Will Rogers
Do they think we're that stupid?
Do they think that we believe them?
Do they think all these political commercials will make us run out to vote for them or against their opponent?
Because this is what we get every election year, despite the fact that you and I and all our friends don't believe a word in those TV commercials.
Not only do we not believe them, but we also get angry, irritated and disappointed when we watch politicians sink to a level somewhere in the subbasement of the lowest common denominator to accuse their opponents of being the one behind what ails our community, our state, our country.
Or they stand in front of a flag, a memorial monument or a "town hall" filled with a crowd nodding its collective noggins like so many bobble-head dolls in oblivious agreement while they come out strong for goodness, apple pie and prosperity. (Cue the patriotic music.)
Now, I've read my history. I know dirty politics have been around since the Founding Fathers' days. They called Lincoln a gorilla. They hinted there was a reason Washington was the "father of his country."
They even questioned Andrew Jackson's marital status, but with Old Hickory, you only did that once.
What we have these days is so transparently silly.
I would say our modern political hopefuls are playing us for fools, except I don't think they're fooling anybody except themselves.
And that, to me, is the most discouraging thing.
We're electing ethically challenged amateurs who believe their media handlers when they tell them they have to go negative or that a cleverly manipulated commercial will make them look good.
Our candidates not only believe that, but they also pay money for that false belief.
When you elect people so foolish, is it any surprise you get the government we've got?
In an earlier century, the birthrate of suckers inspired P.T. Barnum's sideshow success. Such efforts would still make him a wealthy man today.
We, on the other hand, are the poorer for it.