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Brandon: Don’t expect much change from elections

Hallelujah! When this sees print, the elections will be over, and we will mercifully be spared any more of the inane, vapid, condescending, downright idiotic political TV commercials that have been bombarding us for months (until they crank up again in ’08).

Whoever’s elected (and as I write this, the voting’s still a couple of days away), one has to wonder at the mentality of candidates and national party officials whose messages to the voting public consist of a barrage of 30-second TV attack ads that do nothing to enlighten the electorate about issues and candidate qualifications, and whirlwind appearances with candidates parroting the same carefully scripted speeches that say nothing substantive.

Do they really think voters are such mindless twits they can’t see through such drivel?

In neighboring Tennessee, to cite one of the much-publicized examples, one candidate was reported to have spent $15 million-plus of his own and contributors’ money to slime his opponent, who didn’t spend as much but nonetheless managed to pepper the airwaves with his own mud-slinging. Alas, one of them will be elected.

One has to wonder, too, at the colossal egotism that would lead someone to spend $15 million-plus seeking an office that pays $165,000 (even that pales beside the reported $60 million that New Jersey’s Jon Corzine spent in 2000 to win a Senate seat).

How much honor can there be in being able to prefix one’s name with “Senator” or “Representative,” when the majority of the public sees Congress as a do-nothing body and ranks members little more favorably than used car salesmen? (A Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll earlier this year reported 63 percent of respondents considered most senators and representatives petty politicians fighting for their own personal gain and only 17 percent as statesmen actually doing service for their country.)

How much statesmanship and service to country can members of either body provide when their primary order of business after getting elected is to immediately start raising more money to perpetuate themselves in office?

Sadly, the last six years have done little to demonstrate that a party monopoly in the White House and Congress represented any improvement in the country’s fortunes.

The party that decried big government and posited itself as the model for fiscal conservatism has, on its watch, given us a hideously bloated government that has piled up massive debt that will be a millstone around the neck of future generations, while dismantling and decimating education, housing, health care, retirement, and other programs that have helped to foster a strong middle class, pouring hundreds of billions of dollars and thousands of lives into the rathole that is Iraq, and exporting hundreds of thousands of U.S. jobs to sweatshop nations in the name of trade globalization.

And a president and a party that have been staunchly supported from day 1 by U.S. agriculture have done little to return the favor. Uhh, agriculture who?

So, whoever won which post or which house of Congress in Tuesday’s elections, don’t expect much in the way of meaningful change. Just more politics as usual…


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