|By Sean MacEntee / flickr.com|
Indeed, I am fed up, but not in the way this pseudo-political group implies. I am tired of political ads that are blatantly misleading. I am tired of personal attacks, which by definition reveal nothing useful about the leadership abilities or policy positions of their victims. They are wrought in back rooms by spin doctors and wielded haphazardly, as weapons. I am tired of the barrage of fundraising e-mails--even from a candidate I support--with pithy, curious subject lines. At least once a day they beg for my donation to add to an (at least partially) ill-used war chest. I am tired of watching my candidate wrestle in the proverbial muck, wasting his time and sullying his character. I am tired of disingenuous promises. I am tired of opportunistic photo ops. I am tired of all-too-transparent pandering. I am tired of oversimplification, of quotes stripped of their context, of slogans without the details. I am especially tired of mudslinging at the expense of marginalized groups--the LGBTQ community, people of color, and low-income moms, to name a few.
Is this really how we elect a president?
To be clear: I applaud get out the vote efforts that seek to engage underrepresented people. I am happy that some portion of my campaign donation goes to pay hardworking field organizers (and many of them are unpaid), thoughtful policy advisers, and the under-recognized staff who turn the gears, pour the coffee, advance the gigs, etc. I am even okay with the use of my donation to power an informative website, or print a campaign flyer, or stamp a button. I understand that campaigns are expensive, and I appreciate that being out-raised imperils your chances of success. What I hope we can eliminate in my lifetime is the resource-intensive part of this process that ashames and frustrates me--the part where we call each other dirty names.
It's time to clean up our elections. In 2016, the candidate who sticks to positive ads, sets achievable goals, and puts out substantive policy positions gets my vote. Period.