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Monday, December 6, 2010

Can you say quisling? Oh. Then how about malicious hypocrisy?

Nothing has become more irrelevant to working Americans who are trying to keep their lives together than American politics.  It is a patriotic ritual to sing the praises of the right and responsibility to vote, and yet when anyone takes an honest, hard look at the individual's relationship to the political process,  it is a sham.  South Dakota Blogger Tramplingrose sums it up in an open letter to members of Congress, the Senate, and the President:  

Rather than addressing the issues of things like unemployment, the economy, the lack of morale in this country, you are basically playing a game of chicken with things that don’t matter. You care more about making sure your side is “right” and knocking down the other side, rather than taking whatever steps are necessary to start getting America back on track.You worry that Muslims might openly practice their religion in this country, or that illegal immigrants might steal janitorial jobs from Americans who don’t want them.  

What goes on in Washington and Pierre has become so unrelated to the lives of the vast, vast majority of Americans that paying attention to politics and doing one's "civic duty" is being recognized as sheer foolishness. Tramplingrose explains it:  

I’ve voted in almost every election I could since I turned 18. I voted in my last election a month ago. I can’t keep caring and trying to fight what is in essence, a losing battle. I don’t see the point in wasting 10 minutes of my time to go and vote for any candidate who will promise one thing while making the rounds and shaking the hands, but then be swayed by lobbyists and corporations with deep pockets, or political higher-ups who promise more fame and notoriety. No one cares about the people like me any more. And I can’t keep caring about my government. You have a lot to prove if you ever want to win me back.

But in reality, the core of the issue of an irrelevant government are the voters who play or are suckered in by the political games.  Tramplingrose may have the key to change.  Refuse to participate in an exercise which is all about gulling the fools.   Don't willingly play the fool.  The campaign between Stephanie Herseth Sandlin and Kristi Noem is a case study in deceiving the suckers who play the game.

First of all, the two candidates spent over $2 million each on their campaigns.  This meant that the major efforts of their campaigns had to be in raising money.  At a time when the U.S. is in the deepest recession since the Great Depression, when unemployment is pushing millions of citizens into poverty, and America is mired down in wars that are bleeding life out of the nation, candidates are spending their energies on raising money and finding ways to appeal to the donors' special interests, rather than focusing on the issues which are threatening the people.

Secondly, and most insulting to the public, was the Noem campaign's allegation that Herseth Sandlin betrayed South Dakota values.  Her first betrayal was when she graduated from Groton High School and earned a scholarship to Georgetown University.  Her second betrayal was in succeeding at a highly competitive university and going on to law school.  In South Dakota, such shenanigans have become the unforgivable sin.  The Noem campaign poured on the charges of betrayal and stayed on message, like a hound dog tracking a refugee fleeing from the great places and great faces. 

But the Noem campaign had outside help in contriving the message that Herseth Sandlin was attached by an umbilical cord to Nancy Pelosi, that she had totally converted to Washington, D.C.-ism, and that her marriage to a former Texas congressman was akin to joining Osama bin Laden's harem.  Kristi Nome, as reported in the Sioux Falls Argus Leader, had help that doubled her campaign budget with another $2 million poured into ads pounding on Herseth Sandlin's alleged betrayals.  Herseth Sandlin received a paltry $600,000 in outside help.  

The insulting sham in all of this is in accepting all this outside help to shout the message that Herseth Sandlin was beholden to outside influences and had betrayed the trust of South Dakotans.  

Word for the day:  can you say quislinq?  Or something of that order?  Maybe that's too strong.  But if the people are gullible to buy into the a message of betrayal to outside sources and funded and concocted by outside sources,  the only thing left to do is not play stupid and deceitful games.  Why vote when it has become an obscene act?  

If enough people refuse to be fools any longer, the patriots will come out and howl and moan about a country beset by indifference and apathy.  But if they want the people to come out and vote, they had better make the changes that will make voting an honorable act again.

Until then,  why vote?  Why care?  There are better options in this world.  

[I note that Madville Times has also noted the insulting hypocrisy of the campaign.]


Rachel said...

Well, at least I got someone's attention! Thanks for the link.

Thad Wasson said...

On Sunday Rep. Herseth-Sandlin pinned a Purple Heart Medal on Brandon Stackenwalt at the Disabled Veterans office in Rapid City. She probably didn't have to be there, but she was. SHS had some kind words for Brandon and his family, she also spent time with the guests who were present.

Our elected leaders are just like the rest of us. They are Mothers, Fathers, Wives, Husbands, Parents, Daughters and Sons. They try to make the best decision possible for the benefit of all.

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