Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Campaigning In Sound Bites

I have made no attempt to hide my disdain for the lack of meaningful discussion about the candidates seeking elected office the U.S. in less than a month. It seems that each and every campaign has degenerated into promoting soundbites as an alternative to thoughtful debate on the issues. While my Democratic candidates have not been without sin on this issue, the Republicans, saddled with sharing party designation with George W and constantly reaping the sour results of the Bush administration's seeds sown, have been blatant in their efforts to smear their opponents in order to gain votes.

There is growing evidence that the public is getting tired of the tactic. On Saturday, the Minneapolis Star Tribune published its most recent Minnesota Poll, claiming that Al Franken had taken a 9 point lead over Norm Coleman in their race for the U.S. Senate. According to the Strib, voters are reacting to Coleman's negative campaign and turning to Franken. Regular readers of Prairie Pondering will recall my appeal for relevance in this campaign in my April 29th blog. Perhaps the tide is turning.

With respect to thoughtful analysis of the presidential race, two pieces came to my attention this morning that bear review. The first is an article that appeared in the Guardian, a British newspaper. Michelle Goldberg wrote a thoughtful piece on Sarah Palin that dissects her debate performance from the perspective of the larger question about her qualifications for office. Read it here.

The second piece comes from my mentor, Charlie Leck, in his ad astra blog. Yesterday, he reviewed an article by Tim Dickinson in Rolling Stone Magazine that throws a shining light on John McCain. The article is not flattering. That, sometimes, is the outcome of investigative journalism. It should not matter that the source is an admittedly liberal publication.

Neither those of us considered liberal nor those of us considered conservative need accept the results of Mr. Dickinson's investigation published in Rolling Stone Magazine on its face. However, if we are to rely on anything more than empty slogans to make an informed decision about who to put in charge of our government and in control of our economic, spiritual and basic freedoms, we have an obligation to at least consider what someone who took the time to look behind the curtain has uncovered. If we don't agree with Mr. Dickinson, there should be some basis for the disagreement other than a gut wrenching wish that there was an alternative truth. The absence of a balanced account of Senator McCain's background in Mr. Dickinson's piece does not, in and of itself, make the reporting or the conclusions it reaches inaccurate.

Charlie's blog piece is here. Tim Dickinson's article is here. Please take the time to read them and make good choices.

1 comment:

cousin marvin said...

It is refreshing to read something that contains credible information presented in an intelligent, crisp and well written format. I am sure the "low knowledge" voters, as they are euphemistically referred to, will not understand or appreciate your views, but please keep writing them down
. They are most needed now, as the country seems to be circling the drain.
mdw