OK, I’m used to getting an assortment of smear-laden campaign flyers around election time, but today my mailbox is practically stuffed with them. Only one of the mailings even mentioned what the candidate stood for – the rest were filled with talk about the “questionable values” of the other candidate.
It’s getting increasingly rare that I vote for someone instead of against someone, and sadly, this election season looks to be no different.
6 thoughts on “Hate Mail”
Guess how bad it is living in the home city of one of the most controversial races in the country; Yeah, I know you’re in the same state, but it is INTENSE here – tonight during the 6:30pm hour, the commercials went Corker, Republican Committee, Junior, Corker, Junior, Democratic committee, Corker, Corker (I WISH I were kidding…:( )
Same state also… I got the deluge on Saturday. I pulled out approx. 20 of those “oversized” flyers. 8 or 9 with Jr.’s pic, about 4 or 5 with Corker’s, and some other assorted crap. One thing about them being oversized, they’re easier to filter from the other mail. I never read any of them.
Nick, you hit the nail on the head. I think that political campaign research shows that people are more likely to vote if there is something they are for or against, and against more often than not motivates people. So if you’re against the slime that [insert politician name here] is for, then you’ll vote for [insert slimey politician that they’re running against]. I live just South of Denver and the muck that has been on television has been insane. I don’t even get to vote in some of the races that were most intensely funding television for the last couple months :)
As a foreigner (Dane), I’m not the right person to judge your political culture. But the differences between elections in the US vs. elections in Denmark seem striking, and I’m glad that our politicians are not campaigning in the same smear-laden manner that seems to be the standard in the US. I’m not saying that our politicians aren’t making negative campaigns – but it is practically unthinkable that personal character attacks would be accepted in a campaign.
I guess that one of the reasons these smear-driven campaigns work is due to the two-party system – if the blue candidate is an idiot, I’d better vote for the red one. In a system with several parties (in the Danish parliament we have 7 right now), you’d have to smear a lot of candidates to be sure to get votes for your one party. There is – as I see it – also a greater chance to find a party with a political line that matches your own conviction.
Anyway – I know that there are many ways to organize a political system, and as stated before I’m not going to judge the American system. I just hope that you get the politicians you deserve. The big difference between elections in the US and most other national elections is the degree of influence the elected leaders have on international relations. You may – and should – of course elect your politicians solely based on your own preferences. But I just hope that you and the leaders you elect will take your country’s role as the sole remaining superpower seriously. Not for the benefit of the rest of us, but for the benefit of all of us.
Regards from Denmark
Jens Gyldenkærne Clausen (writing for no other than myself – and apologizing the spelling and grammatical errors that probably can be found above).
Well, here in the US we do have more than two parties. The problem is, most people don’t vote for who they really think is the “BEST” person unless they are a democrat or repulblican.
The resoning is that only one of the two major party candidates could win so if I vote for a Libertarian (or Insert any other party here) then I am “wasting” my vote.
The problem is that this thinking is a self-fullfilling prophecy.
Also, (my opinion) most people in this country vote based on popularity (positive or negative) due to the TV commercials. So, that is why most of the time the candidate that spends the most on adds/signs/banners etc is usually the one that wins.
Here’s the kicker. When I was in Missouri this week, I saw print brochures that tried to detail how Claire McCaskill (the Democrat) was responsible for nursing home rapes, thanks to Jim Talent. And underneath that was, was a dozen more saying the same thing. How weird. Talent was the only incumbent to lose in Missouri this week.
Maybe Earl’s right — Karma has a way.
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