I love political debate, but this year I have simply been turned off. Regardless of political party, all that I have been hearing are attack ads. Candidates must think these ads are effective because they keep buying the ads. I have never voted for someone because they ran an attack ad against their opponent. If you want to run for office, then tell the voters why you are the best person for the job. Telling the voters that your opponent is a crook or a liar simply fails the voter.
I have been in Illinois, Missouri and Wisconsin over the past week and have listened to local radio stations in each state. Political ads are the bread and butter of radio during election season. What I heard was attack ads after attack ads. Rarely would a candidate actually articulate a position on the issues. Vitriol was king and issues information wasn’t even to the level of a serf. It was ridiculous.
The debates across the country are no better. Long gone are the debates with candidates actually discussing the issues. Today’s debates are simply candidates using the time to air their soundbites. If they get that soundbite in, it will be repeated on the evening news and they get what amounts to a free ad on the public air waives. Even the debates reflect the attack ad concept. Candidates seem to relish insulting and attacking the other candidate during the debate. That is not a debate, but rather sick entertainment. I long for the days of yesteryear when candidates actually fleshed out the issues and gave the voter a reason to vote for them.
The good news is that the elections are on November 8th, just a few days from now. I am ready for some dishwashing soap ads or even a toothpaste ad. I will have more interest in those ads than the garbage we have put up with over the past four or five months.
The one issue about the midterms that does concern me is national security. Russia and Ukraine have taken a lot of our national attention, as well they should have. The press has certainly tried to enhance the turmoil of the midterm elections as that sells more ads. Ukraine/Russia and the midterms seems to have dominated the national news scene recently. What has largely been left under reported is Iran and China.
Iran is flexing its nuclear weapons potential. China keeps stepping up its aggressive attitude towards Taiwan. The aggressive actions of both China and Iran should be of serious concern to Americans. Iran sits in the midst of middle east oil producing nations. China has become and economic giant that challenges the United States. But China has also become a major military power. Ukraine has weakened the Russian war machine. China has simply continued to build up its army, navy and air force.
As a nation we seem to be giving a lot of attention to the Ukrainian conflict and the midterm elections. This simply allows the Chinese and Iranians an opportunity to create mischief at the expense of our national interests. American military leaders are voicing concern, but that concern doesn’t seem to have reached Congress and the Presidency. Complacency is a serious problem that needs to be addressed.