Monday, November 01, 2004

Hatred: When they say all politics is personal, I don't think they mean politics should be taken so personally. But some people can't help it. They get so emotionally involved that they become insulted if somebody doesn't agree with them.

This hate emanates from both sides. So many people are voting against a candidate rather than for anyone this election. And if you ask them why, you're usually answered not with words but with a series of grunts (ie, "He's just so -- ugh."), often accompanied by a shudder or a gag reflex. The policies and issues are largely a side note compared to the visceral reaction people have to certain candidates.

I know that politics has been nasty since the beginning of time, but the hatred seems to get worse every year. The Republicans took it to a new level a few years ago by impeaching a sitting president on trumped up charges. The fact that "that man" was in the White House was cause for consternation among conservatives.

Now the Left has decided to sink to the same level, and sometimes lower. Folks like Michael Moore get away with practically making up absurd allegations against the president -- and millions of people pay to see his trash, and worse, they believe it. posts ads on their Web site that compare Bush to Hitler (then claim that because they didn't give the ads a prize, they weren't really sponsoring them).

Celebrities are losing fans because they're campaigning for the wrong guy. Of course, the fact that they're campaigning at all is a little silly. These people are actors/actresses, singers/songwriters, and professional athletes. They have no government experience or expertise. But they do have a deep-seated hatred for a candidate, and they have a big microphone. That means we are forced to listen to every damn word they have to say.

The Left and Right are so intent on attacking each other that they often lose sight of our real enemies. People actually believe Bush is more dangerous than Saddam Hussein was. Mass murder, real widespread oppression, and support for terrorism is one thing, but don't get them started on the Patriot Act.

Most people can't stay awake through a high-school government course, but they may have an anxiety attack if the wrong guy wins tomorrow. Maybe I'm overly optimistic, but I don't think that even a horrible president could hurt this country too badly. Americans are too strong to let a bad politician screw things up. We survived a power-hungry villain like Nixon. We also survived an impotent weakling like Carter.

This election, we have two men running who love this country so much that they have endured the unforgiving spotlight and trash compactor that is American politics just so they have the chance to be the scapegoat for whatever goes wrong during the next four years. While I would give my left eye for two better candidates, I will feel safe and satisfied with either one of them as my president.


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