I have reached a conclusion in the race for the White House. I'm done with all of it.
In 2008, it was getting bad as then senators John McCain and Barack Obama exchanged barbs and banter over age and being a secret Muslim. This time around, it is just too much, and I am tapping out.
Tapping out is what a MMA fighter does when they are put into a submission hold. They either have to tap out or face serious injury (broken bones, passing out from a choke, etc.).
Well that’s what I am doing, tapping out of the presidential campaigns before I face serious mental injury.
The first sign that I knew that there was going to be trouble was with all of the mud-slinging Super PACs that now dominate the airwaves. My favorite is from Priorities USA, where a husband blames Mitt Romney and Bain Capital for his wife dying of cancer six months after he lost his job and healthcare. What it leaves out is the fact that the wife had her own insurance and died five years after he lost his job, not six months.
Trust me, there are ones from all of the Super PACs, that one is just the most memorable.
The next is all of the name calling that has been going on, even within the pages of our own newspapers. Fox News takes every chance they can to demean the president. Jon Stewart takes every chance he can to demean Romney. Over the past two weeks, I have seen and heard people and groups called names that personally make me sick.
Seriously, why do we have to resort to name-calling when we don't agree with others? Guess what, I don’t agree with a lot of the stances my co-workers, friends or even family members have. That's not going to lead me to call them names or say that they are from, putting it delicately, a mountain made of male bovine manure.
If we are going to have a discussion about the differences that are part of the campaign, please, God (I mean that literally, as a prayer), can we do that, just that, and not let the conversation devolve into a middle school playground “Yo mamma” battle? We should all be able to discuss the issues like the 18-and-over people all registered voters are.
While I think Stewart is part of the problem, his “The Daily Show” also shows the problem well. On a show last week, they had interviews with people from both national conventions, Republican and Democrat. People from both sides of the aisle said that this year is too negative, but then followed that up by viciously blaming and attacking the other side. It was driven home by a Democrat yelling at the Republicans to stop the finger pointing who the whole time was pointing his finger at the camera in a nasty manner.
Another thing that has me so disenfranchised by the whole process is the fact that my presidential vote really does not count.
“But every vote counts!” In a local election, like the one that is now taking place in Elizabethtown, absolutely every vote does count, and I think anything less than 100 percent voter turnout for a local election is shameful. In a presidential election, though, it really doesn’t. If I were to vote for Mitt Romney, my vote would be voided by the Electoral College because we all know that New York will go to the president. If I were to vote for Obama, it’s just one more added to a sure thing that is decided in New York City, not in Westport.
The two candidates and their supporters have slung almost all of the mud they have at each other, all used as distractions from the real issues that matter. Honestly, it’s probably only a matter of time until the religion aspect gets thrown into the mix. I hope that I am wrong because, to be honest, it gets really tiring. It got tired when it happened to Obama in 2008, it started to get tiring when it happened to Romney during the GOP primaries, and it will be tiring if it happens over the next six weeks.
And just like all of the other attacks that have happened through the campaign, it will be based in half-truths and misinformed sources. It will all be stuff that I have heard before, most of which I just laugh at. It’s another column for another day.
So enjoy the rest of the presidential political season, if you are so inclined. I'll see you when the polls close.
Reach the writer at firstname.lastname@example.org