Been so long!!!
It is November…I can’t believe that I have not posted in my blog since June!!!
When I started this, I wanted to post at least every month, but what can I say, life got in the way and I have been here, there and everywhere.
Coming out of hibernation, to talk a little bit about politics…well, not politics in particular but the political campaigning techniques which I find hard to understand here in the US.
God Bless this country for the freedom of speech, but I can’t seem to comprehend all of the candidates airing each other’s dirty laundry in public. In his October 27 article in the Washington Post – aptly called ‘The Year of Playing Dirtier’ (it seems this gets worse every year) – Michael Grunwald voices what I had been musing internly since the campaigning for the November 7 elections started.
I have to admit that most of what I have been exposed to in terms of campaigning has been pretty mild one candidate urges voters to shun his opponent because he made x amount of dollars in an investment which he did not disclose to his constituents during his last tenure in office. And I am wondering to myself, whose business it is exactly and if the profit from the investment is illegal as they would want voters to think, aren’t there bodies – SEC, etc -that were set up to monitor such things and is it for it to be laid out to voters as a personal attack. It seems that I have hardly been exposed to anything at all, according to Mr Grunwald’s article – we have opponents hashing up the most irrelevant of issues in bad taste- Candidate A accuses Candidate B of paying for phone sex…it turns out that someone in Candidate B’s office dialled the wrong number which was the phone sex service company and the call cost the less than $2.00 of tax payer’s money’ Another incident where a candidate accuses the other of being a supporter of a crime, simply because that candidate’s lawyer was representing another client who was involved in that particular crime and had nothing to do with either candidate, I must add…nothing to do with the campaign too, just another cheap shot. Most of it all seems like a joke…and although we should all be laughing, it turns out that it isn’t even funny because it seems that these cheap shots have a way of having a major impact on the outcome of the elections. You wouldn’t say!!!
One very humbling angle in all of this that I get to see almost everyday is the resilience of the campaign workers. I have a long commute most of the week so I get to see a number of them (old and young, I must add) on the drive to train station, at the train station asking you to vote for such and such person and most mornings they are handing out flyers in the cold at the crack of dawn and each time I come across them, I am silently applauding their loyalty to their candidate and their determination to get the word out and praying that they get duly compensated for it.
Finally, I had the good fortune to meet and shake hands with one of the candiates for lieutenant governor in the state that I live in. I was having a particular rough day – and arriving at the train station things seemed pretty chaotic, to put it mildly it looked like a market place and the cause of all the madness was the presence of one of the candidates. ‘Vote for such and such person, stop by and say hello, there she is over there’, a large, heavy-set man, with a booming voice bellowed as he handed out flyers with a few other campaign workers. It was impossible to avoid them or her as they were all in my direct path and merely out of curiosity, I stopped by to say hello. Softly-spoken and polite, she shook my hand and wished me well, hoping that I would support them on election day. I had come across her name on TV and in a few newspaper articles. She was the first female politician that I had met who was visually-challenged and as I drove away from the train station, I remembered reading somewhere that those who are visually-challenged actually see a lot clearer than those who are not. Here’s hoping that if the lady candidate wins, she will be able to lead the state and the people to where we can see the best in us