In just a few days the midterm elections will be history, and many of us will be overwhelmed with joy.
Politics at all levels havegotten completely out of control, mean-spirited and ugly. And it’s not about the people and issues any more. It’s about power, it’s about control, and it’s about money– but mostly about power and control. And our current politics know no boundaries; just check your mailbox.
On the bright side, it was refreshing last week to read an article by a former North Carolina representative, Rick Glazier, in the Oct. 27 issue of The Fayetteville Observer. Glazier wrote about the need for civility in politics, saying, “I see campaigns again this election cycle demeaning the process, filling every media possible with disgusting, debasing, destructive ads. And, being positive on one side of a piece of a mailer, but talking smack on the other, hardly enhances public debate of policies and positions in an intelligent, informed and thoughtful manner – which is precisely what we look to and need from our leaders. Of course, campaigns do this because they believe negative campaigning works. To a degree they are right, if by ‘works’ you mean winning an election. But holding public office is a public trust that goes far beyond winning elections – a contract between the office holder and the people who elected him or her. We breach that contract when we fail to campaign with dignity, or use the power of our office in a retaliatory or intimidating manner, because once that breach of trust occurs, you never get it back – with your constituents or your colleagues with whom you have to work while in office.”
He continues, “Only we can break that cycle. Only we the people can stop empowering these tactics by voting, even outside our own party preference, for candidates who don’t lower public discourse into the gutter. Indeed, if we mean it when we say we hate negative campaigning, then now is our chance to prove it with our vote; otherwise it is just whining without meaning.
“Words here are no substitute for deeds. In the end, Admiral Hyman Rickover had it right: ‘Great people talk about ideas; average people talk about events; and small people talk about other people.’
“Let’s together elect folks to office who talk about ideas! Let’s give rise to our better nature and selves.”
These sentiments are not surprising coming from a Southern gentleman like Glazier. You may not agree with his leftleaning political ideology, but no one can argue against his integrity, sincerity, statesmanship and lethally effective utilization of facts, logic and common sense when it comes to discussing and debating important issues.
Glazier’s observations here are accurate. Common sense, logic, compassion and decency seem to have dissolved at all levels of government. In Fayetteville and Cumberland County, we must ask ourselves some very serious and important questions: Do we have the best and brightest filling our elected positions or have we given in and surrendered to identity politics, intimidation and political correctness? Are these people innovative, thoughtful leaders with ideas and vision for the future, or are they self-serving political hacks taking up space and collecting pay checks for literallydoing nothing?
This begs another question. Why are good men and women shying away from public office? I believe the short answer is that they do not want to be associated with these do-nothing, ineffective scoff-offs who have no incentives to cooperate or compromise. Their priority is to stay in office at all costs – hence the ugly slander, personal attacks and assault on humanity. This is all they have left in the absence of knowledge, vision and compromise.
The good news is, this is America. We are an innovative and self-correcting nation. We are resilient. We are a country that will not easily yield to this kind of craziness long term. We have a responsibility to leave our children and grandchildren a nation that is freer, safer and better off. In the short term, this might be painful. However, in the long term, logic, common sense and civility will prevail and return as we realize these traits are essential to our survival as the greatest nation in the world.
Thank you for reading Up & Coming Weekly.