by Charles A. Monagan
Oct 26, 2010
10:14 AMOn Connecticut
We Deserve Better
One of the refreshing aspects of the 2008 presidential campaign was the agreement between the two candidates to refrain from mudslinging and dirty politics, and instead to wage campaigns extolling their own merits and focusing on the issues. Barack Obama and John McCain each displayed great integrity, essentially sticking to voter issues and concerns in their debates, and aside from the occasional dig here and there, avoided a descent into character attacks.
If only the residents of Connecticut were so lucky this election cycle.
In the heated senate race between Greenwich millionaire Linda McMahon and Greenwich millionaire Richard Blumenthal, it's been hard to find a news story or headline that hasn't referenced some aspect of McMahon's former business, and with good reason. This election has degenerated into a mind-numbing barrage of vicious personal attacks, each side seemingly trying to outdo the other with how deep they will dig for dirt to sling or how low they will stoop to smear the other.
Round and round it goes, each accusation and action seemingly more desperate than the next. McMahon calls Blumenthal a liar and a profiteer from his court cases; Blumenthal responds by flying in the father of a murderer to blame McMahon for his son's unconscionable actions. And so it goes, deeper and darker and more sensationalistic as Election Day draws ever closer and each candidate pulls out the final stops in their bid to win.
Of course, the citizens of Connecticut are the losers. Rather than choose a candidate based on their ideas, plans and vision or the promises of what they might do for the state once they arrive in Washington, many of us will instead hold our noses and vote for the less objectionable one on Nov. 2. Not to mention the constant stream of negative messages we've had to endure every time we turn on the TV or radio, look at our computer screen, answer the phone or go to the mailbox. Anything that might've been an actual position on an issue -- you know, something someone pulling a lever next week might've been able to use to decide how to allocate their one vote -- has been obfuscated by the overwhelmingly nasty rhetoric on both sides. Nothing resembling integrity has been demonstrated by either campaign.
"Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never harm me" -- we tell our children that actions speak louder than words, but the actions and words in this election have been deplorable. We pride ourselves on this state being a place of well-educated, progressive, rational citizens, but this contest has demeaned all involved, including the voters.
Look, I understand that this has become the sad nature of politics, but as the election of 2008 proved, it doesn't have to be. Enough is enough already.We Deserve Better