Twisting the Golden Rule to read that way in the respective presidential campaigns is increasingly evident each day, if not hour, as both candidates and their independent supporters engage in enough mudslinging to wipe out a good-sized town, shades of those massive mudslides destroying entire towns on the coastal region of Northern Italy in 2011.
And the down-and dirty, no holds barred fighting going on between the two camps is more befitting of a barroom brawl than it is for those vying for the highest position in the land.
But is it really that surprising that the campaign has degenerated down the stretch into adhominems being fired at each other with the rapidity of a machine gun?
Not to me. For I see it as being all-too-typical of the lengths politicians will go to in order to demean and gain the upper hand over their opponents, as was clearly demonstrated during the Reppublican primary, when the candidates took turns lambasting one another in the debates and TV ads with the fury of a cornered tiger.
And I can only liken it to the smear campaign launched against Sen. McCain’s bid for the Republican Party’s nominee for president in 2000 in the South Carolina primary.
When, delivered by negative ads, push polls, faxes, e-mails, flyers, audience plants and the like, a unidentiied, underground group claimed that he had fathered a black child out-of-wedlock, that his wife Cindy was a drug addict, that he was a homosexual, that he had abandoned veterans on POW/MIA issues, and that he was mentally unstable from his POW days.
And I can still recall to this day-with glee I would add-when during a break during a debate, Bush, in putting his hand on McCain’s arm, could be heard saying to him (in an open microphone) that he had no involvement in the attacks, to which McCain replied: “Don’t give me that s–t. And takes your hands off me.”
So, it only goes to show the depth to which political discourse has sunk as much today as it did back then, with little likelihood of it ever-changing as long as the money bags continue to play a major role in the outcome of elections, in general, and particularly in presidential elections (a la political ad spending passes more than 500 million to date).
Quote of the week: “When money talks, the truth is silent.” Russian proverb