I was starting to wonder, in the weeks leading up to the midterm elections, if there was anything left in this country upon which we could agree.
The divisive climate seemed to transcend politics and ooze into other areas.
There were some dark days when it seemed like people were prepared to argue about anything, even the most innocuous subjects.
However, when the sun rose on the morning after the election, its pale light glistening on the fresh coating of treacherous new ice waiting to do me a mischief on the back stairs, I found a reason for hope.
Despite the bitter wind trying to invade my coat and sting my eyes, already blurry from lack of sleep, I found some common ground.
There is one subject upon which everyone I met enthusiastically agreed.
Men and women from every socio-economic background, race, religion, and philosophical persuasion came together for one simple reason.
They were rejoicing in the knowledge that after months of suffering, we will finally get a break from the non-stop assault of obnoxious political ads.
To say that we were exposed to negative advertising during this election cycle doesn’t begin to convey the depth of depravity these abominable messages represent.
I’m confident that the miscreants who produced this filth did so in order to get us to vote for a particular candidate or political party.
For me, however, the recent political ads had the effect of convincing me not to support anyone who was involved in producing or endorsing the ads, not to mention lowering my opinion of people in general.
These persistent reminders of man’s inhumanity to man are enough to sour anyone on their fellows.
Through many conversations I have had recently, I learned that I am not the only one who found it impossible to watch television prior to the election without the remote actually in my hand, poised to mute the sound at the first sign of a political ad or the mug of some political creature about to spew his filthy propaganda.
One fellow I spoke to noted he normally enjoys listening to the radio in his car. Lately, he said, he had taken to driving with one hand on the radio control in case it became necessary to switch the sound off in a hurry.
It is troubling that so many of the ads are mean-spirited and abusive, although that is not entirely new.
What is more disturbing is the fact that some people find it acceptable to publish blatant lies to try to sway voters.
I don’t know when the rules changed, but we can’t continue to go down this path.
To allow anyone, including elected officials and candidates, to deliberately publish information that is absolutely false, without any consequences whatsoever, is a huge mistake.
For too long, we have allowed politicians to act as if the laws don’t apply to them, and we’re paying the price for it now.
There seems to be no standards for ethical conduct when it comes to political campaigns.
If candidates and politicians behave this way before election day, why would any logical person think they are going to behave any differently after they are elected?
It seems like everyone I talk to hates political ads, but there seems to be more negative and false ads now than ever before. The only way that will ever change is if citizens demand it. No governmental organization in the history of mankind has ever made any effort to clean up its own act without consistent direct pressure from its constituents.
We are fortunate that there are still a few of those rare creatures among us people who conduct themselves in a responsible, honest manner before and after the election.
These are individuals who earn our respect rather than trying to get their way by deceit and intimidation.
I applaud these people because they consistently demonstrate integrity, and they take responsibility for their actions.
We need a lot more of that at all levels of government.