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Pandering to Idiots

by Gini Cunningham

posted in News and Society

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Each time I listen to politicians running for election in 2016, whether they are spewing vitriol toward other candidates or just spewing, my heart aches as I realize and accept that they are pandering to idiots. And I am afraid that I must one of those idiots for several reasons. First, I read the news and listen to it as well. If I were to unsubscribe to my paper and click off the radio and television, these attacks would not greet my eyes and ears, thus insulating me from this ongoing idiocy. At least my ignorance would prevent me from being a party to this horrendous behavior. But that would be hard to do as I like to know and understand the workings of the world.
Because I do not rise up and do something against these railings, I feel like I am a part of them. What if I started my own campaign against politicians? A letter here, an advertisement there, a billboard placed along a busy freeway requesting solutions not venom, maybe I could draw a crowd of like-minded individuals who would refuse to read or listen to any more of this mud-slinging nonsense. My strength against it would allow me to escape from pandering for it. There are some fine potential outcomes here.
I know that I am just one person, one who reads and hears and then wonders if anyone actually believes some of the "facts" we are offered or meanness that erupts. Just when I assure myself that no one in my country could possibly condone this nutsy talk, I get an email from a family member or I read an editorial reply or I bump into an associate who believes every word issued from the mouth of his or her favorite candidate. I am afraid that I cannot, at this point, support any candidate. There is too much baggage and cruelty and narrow-mindedness. Or am I the narrow-minded one as I shut out this harmful bantering and seek refuge in silence?
And as the pandering to idiots goes on, such as vicious attacks on immigrants, we turn a blind eye to the plight of those refugees in Europe who have risked everything to flee the atrocities of their homelands. What if we gathered the millions and approaching billions of dollars spent on ad campaigns and created some good. We could build housing and factories and stores and schools, things that would have a long-lasting impact on humanity. I have noticed that European immigrants or refugees do not pop up in campaign blathering here because it is such a painful and desperate sight. Instead they (the politicians) just solve problems with immigrants here (we hate to call them refugees because then we might have some heartstrings tugged) with ideas of building fences, sending them back even though back in the case of children is here as they were born in this country, or blocking paths to citizenship through name-calling bigotry.
What if instead of destroying the credibility of others, candidates established a real plan of action for themselves. Not off-the-cuff remarks like, "When I am elected President I'll do... " since many of the "I'll do[s]" would be illegal, but real solutions to real problems. What if... There must be an American who is brave enough and honest enough to run on the truth, with honesty and integrity. Or have we all fallen off of that wagon and into a pool of idiotic thoughts and deeds? Are we pandered idiots?
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