Slime Time

I’m so grateful for all the campaign literature that has been mailed to my home in the last few weeks. I’ve read it all carefully, so I know I’m headed to the polling booth next week to choose a mayor and commissioners from among candidates who are:

Marionettes whose strings are pulled by “special interests”,
Selfish, inept, money-hungry, two-faced, liars,
Ethically-challenged panderers,
In bed with Fidel,
In bed with the devil,
Drunk drivers,
Some of the above
All of the above.

For the record, I do not live in Sodom or Gomorrah.

One of the more disgusting flyers I received depicts three of four commission candidates in unflattering stereotypes, which leaves the fourth to take the default blame for the mailing. But the fourth candidate didn’t send it out, nor did the woman who lives at the address listed as headquarters for the campaign literature. How pathetic is a person, organization and/or campaign that spends time, effort and money to gossip, libel and commit mail fraud, rather than trumpet a candidate’s proud accomplishments?

And I guess the more significant question is: who among my neighbors are influenced by this nonsense?

Far too many, I fear.

Because of where I live and what I do for a living, I’ve had the opportunity to meet every person running for office in my city’s elections next week. Some I know longer than others. Some I know better than others. Some I like better than others. Some I trust more than others. Some pander to community sentiment at the expense of long-term progress. But I do believe every one of them has a sincere desire to make our collective zip code a decent place to live and work.

Somewhere in the process, though, the candidates and their “handlers” decided that marketing the candidate wasn’t enough. They had to un-market their opponents. And they know full well the vast majority of voters are too busy, indifferent, lazy (or all of the above) to do any candidate research on their own. So marketing (and un-marketing) turns out to be the research and education those busy, indifferent, lazy voters take into the booth.

Call me naïve, but how on earth has democracy devolved into this?


2 Responses

  1. You’re musing us again. You have to admit it is a bit amusing to read, hear and watch. Let the smear party begin.

  2. “Vote for me and I’ll set you free…” I think you missed the mark with all respect to your fine writing and insight; perhaps, the neigbors do not care about what is in the writings and the mailings as they have learned it is all part of the “showtime” that leads up to and follows Election Day. It’s who can do the better job in making ‘promises they can’t keep.’ You know that after covering large and small elections and looking the best and worst politicos in the eye with your camera and mike and acting for just a fleeting moment like you honestly believed they might have meant what they said…. You assume that Jon Q. Public is willing to take the time to read what’s deposited in his/her campaign mail and I dare say, Ms. Milberg, you are way off the mark. These neighborly voters and citizens around you have so little time left over in their usually-boring, lazy run o’ the mill days, more concerned of who made the finals on Dancin’ With The Stars or which contestant Paula is having an affair with on ‘Idol,’ or what young Hollywood starlet is exiting her stretch limo perhaps forgetting she forgot to put on a pair of panties, convenient for nearby waiting Papparazzi lenses; these are the things that matter most to your fair neighbors getting ready to go to the polls to vote; next time you are at the mailbox perusing contents of the latest promises of these deserving politician, you might find others routinely depositing those bravado brochures in the nearby recyle bin, without taking the time to read such humorous, senseless jibbrish; perhaps you should have thought of that, also..

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