Saturday, October 08, 2016

Is Common Courtesy Going the Way of the Dodo in Politics?

I'm old enough to remember a time when political opponents knew how to act during debates. It was professional and they acted with decorum. With taste. The office of President meant something.

So, what happened?

Donald Trump has made so many misogynistic, racist comments, that we've all lost count. He managed his campaign the way he has managed his reality TV show. The more dirt, the better. The more outrageous, the more we watched. Even the media thought he was funny and didn't take him seriously. But the voters did. They still do. And even though he has managed to show his ass so many times, each time the more ridiculous, they love him. Why?

Hillary Clinton has been branded a liar and a criminal because of the Whitewater investigation, and the recent email issue. She has been blamed for the Benghazi attack on our embassy. However, Republican led investigators have cleared her each time and there is nothing anywhere to prove otherwise. While she's not exactly innocent or perfect, she still has conducted her campaign with decorum and taste, sticking to the issues and stating her policies quite succinctly. And yet, she is continually vilified. Why?

What has happened to us? While it would be easy to blame this on Trump or Clinton or the media, the truth of the matter is we are the problem. The salacious, the prurient details and we eat them up. Trump has more than proven that he has no business running for the office of President, let alone being elected. Clinton is more than qualified but has that air of entitlement that makes her seem as if she thinks she's above the law. Neither one has the trust of the American people and yet, they're all we have -- and if you think the two independent candidates are going to spoil this, please. Both of them want you to think they're excellent alternatives when they're just Trump Lite. Not to mention the fact that if you think Trump is an outsider and totally ill prepared for the job, these two make him look like a seasoned veteran.

No, this is our fault. We have solicited this behavior, rewarded it with howls of laughter and words of encouragement. The more outrageous Donald's statements and lies are, the more we encourage him to make them. We have thrived on this bad behavior. And it doesn't matter, does it. We've already had a Teflon President (Reagan), a Teflon Don (Gotti), why not the Teflon Candidate.

But do we really want him in office? And is this the wave of our political future? Is this the candidate that we want? Are we eschewing the class, professionalism, and taste of previous candidates for the bare knuckle fighting of a man who insults women and minorities for "entertainment" value?

Is common courtesy going the way of the dodo?  I hope not. It's not a world or a country that I want to live in.


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