By : Nikki Savage
I heard the first election commercial today. Actually I heard it about 5 times in a couple hours. Something about some guy being a “double dipping pension padder”. They said that about 50 times in the ad. “Double dipping pension padder”. I don’t remember who it was about or who it was for. Just that one line. “Double dipping pension padder.”
I can’t stand these commercials. I’m thankful we don’t have another presidential election so we shouldn’t be hit too hard with all the hate campaigns this year. But still. All the ads do is remind me what is wrong with our politics. A lot.
It starts with the party lines. We start with two people who for all appearances are indebted and affiliated to some group. A group that doesn’t always represent my views. (I’m registered independent.)
When I vote, I want to pick the one who speaks the most truth and also speaks to my truth. The one that gets my vote needs to share some common views with me and if neither do, the one I choose will be the one that actually listened to their opponent before responding. But these days I can’t tell who that would be because candidates no longer run by sharing their beliefs but by discrediting their opponents. And the response is focussed on defending one view over another instead of explaining what they are seeing from that view so others might find a way to share that view.
Like it or not, not everyone agrees. But we are still supposed to be working for the same cause. Why in the hell would anyone want to be led by someone who openly belittles one of the people they are hoping to represent? Whoever wins, the other will be their constituent. Who wants someone who would treat their constituents in such a way? We are all on the same team here.
I don’t care where they choose to stand along the party lines, I care about knowing who they are when things aren’t comfortable because change never is. Will they sink the ship for their pride or will they acknowledge and address their imperfections, both personal and systematic, even if it means that people who supported them would be angry? This is what I want to know. This is what I want to hear about.
But I suppose instead, I’ll just keep hearing about a “double dipping pension padder” and (insert another catchy derogatory slogan) so I can vote for whoever seems less bad. And wait and see who wins the tug of war this year. Then keep hoping one day these people will remember themselves and those they mean to serve and speak to us from that place.
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