Am I the only one bothered by the meanness, and sometimes sheer stupidity, from some on the political right, as well as the self-righteousness pontificating of some on the political left?
First, we have Rush Limbaugh telling us that Michael J. Fox, who suffers from Parkinson’s disease, was faking it in a Democratic television commercial on stem-cell research. He suggests that the shaking and trembling Fox exaggerated his symptoms, perhaps because he was not taking his medication. Limbaugh suggested that Fox did this in order to win sympathy, suggesting that “It’s purely an act.” I hope poor Rush never has to watch a family member or friend die with Parkinson’s. It is a horrible disease, thus his mean and stupid criticism of Fox lacks both compassion and the necessary gravitas to address such important issues.
Then we have Democrats who continually tell us that they alone have the real solutions to the problems of poverty. (I do not doubt the sincerity of some who believe that they do! There is a legitimate disagreement about what policies a government should advance regarding this subject.) But the party of the rich, contra popular opinion, is not the Republican Party. The super-rich love the Democrats. Think about how Democrats fund their campaigns. 17 of the 25 top donors to outside advocacy groups in the U.S. are putting their big bucks behind the Democrats. Think names like George Soros and Peter Lewis and you get my drift. And rich liberals run for office often and when they do they spend a lot of money to get elected. (Think Ned Lamont in Connecticut in today’s election.) Of the five U. S. senators worth more than $25 million, four are Democrats. In a recent issue of National Review Online Peter Schweitzer suggested that the rise of the super-rich left explains a lot about the Democratic agenda. Schweitzer says trust-fund leftists and Internet billionaires can afford to view tax cuts, morality, and the war on drugs with distant disdain, because higher taxes and social problems do not threaten people who live inside “large, fenced-lined compounds.” Something to think about next time you hear appeals about helping the poor from the super-rich, many of whom want your tax money to help their ideologically driven cause through higher tax rates that impact the rest of us.
I’m sure glad these innane commercials will end today. I grow increasingly weary of the seemingly endless campaigns that mark America’s election cycles. We end one election and seem to start another before serious governance even begins. (Regardless of what happens today do you really expect much to change radically in Washington? Our political system was actually designed to resist a tendency to radical change.) One thing is apparent. Our leaders are either “lame ducks” or constant candidates. What an odd dilemma. The citizen-servant concept of elected leadership seems to have died by mid-twentieth century, or maybe even by 1865. I’m sure you, like me, can’t wait to see what we are given by the two parties in the run-up to November, 2008. Does anyone seriously doubt that our culture will not be rescued by politicians and politics?
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That so many politicians (and those who lobby for them) get away with so much hypocrisy is astounding, not that they are hypocrites (i resemble that remark) but that they get away with it. Maybe the blog world helps with that.
On the Limbaugh/Fox thing, I’m no big fan of Rush but I like talk radio and happened to catch his show during this little fiasco. Though I believe he was actually implying that Fox was exaggerating his symptoms he never simply said he was faking it. There’s a lot of context missing from those quotes. I don’t think Rush was out of line but he was mistaken. The big thing is that the ads can be easily dismissed as dishonest and inaccurate. No doubt the same could be said of GOP candidate ads as well.
excellent observations as usual, john. i have been thinking similar thoughts, and if you could find a few minutes i would be grateful if you would read my recent blog post and give me some responses and critique. the address is http://www.xylemfamily.org/xy. thanks again and keep fighting the good fight!