Monday, February 25, 2008

I was wrong: Americans love mudslinging

Nikki over at According to Nikki has written an interesting post titled "I love dirty politics." I have to say this is a very interesting perspective.

She writes, "This is the best part of an election year. We get to hear all the whining and crying about the opposing candidate. Honestly it is about time. The news is so boring right now, it is time to start slaughtering the credibility of the candidates"

I had to laugh while I read that, and I laughed until I got to this part, "Americans are all about the down in the dirt, low-down nasty, lying, back stabbing, blame mongering politics! it's what we thrive on. It's what keeps us glued to the television set. We want accusations thrown and thrown hard! Keep it comin' candidates. We love a good fight and the dirtier the better."

For the record, I added the emphasis in that last paragraph. I did so because I think she has made an excellent point here. Perhaps we Americans really do love this stuff, and the greatest proof of all is the fact that it is posted all over both the new and the old medias. It "keeps us glued to the television set."

Grandma always said that no news is good news, but no news is boring. If all the candidates are behaving themselves and simply sticking to the issues of the day, that would result in no news at all. Thus, no news is bad news for TV executives pent on making money, er, driving up their audiences, er, creating fun and entertaining programming.

How boring would it be to simply watch a debate where both candidates hound each other on the War in Iraq or the economy or border security. We've been there and done that so many times it's getting boring. It's so much more media savvy to have a little mudslinging on the side.

I remember when I was a college student (almost 20 years ago now) and reading about how blood and guts attracts people; how tragedy attracts people; how death attracts people. People don't park their butts on the side of the road to watch cars go back and forth, but when one crashes, or when a person gets hit by one, then people are drawn to the crisis like flies to manure.

I suppose the same is true with the negative adds, the personal attacks, the mudslinging, the Swift Boat attacks, the Borking that is done in the media. It's almost as though we don't care who really wins or loses, we just want to see a good fight.

I've written on a recent post how I believe Americans are tired of the mudslinging. However, after reading Nikki's post, I've come to my senses that I was probably wrong by stating that.

Personally, I don't like it. I would prefer our candidates simply stick to the issues, and Americans would have no choice to actually vote for the person who has the best solutions to the problems that ail this nation, rather than the least hated.

George Bush didn't win in 2004, he was simply the least hated. In total, 59,028,111 did not hate John Kerry, but 62,040,610 did not hate George Bush. With all this love for hate, no wonder it's so hard for the candidates to stick to the issues.

And, one might assume, this might be one of the reasons so little seems to get accomplished in Washington. We don't need to accomplish anything to get re-elected, all we have to do is instigate hatred by throwing mud at our opponents.

But I don't like it. Call me boring. Call me, well, conservative. I hate it. I would like to see a boring debate. I would like to see Obama and McCain teaching economics 101 classes to the public. I'd be more interested in watching that than mudslinging.

In fact, I think if the mudslinging were stopped, that we might be able to get a real person educated, experienced, military orientated, economic expert, true leader, teacher, friend or a combination of those in the office of the President of the United States.

In my study of presidential history, I believe that's how it used to be in this country prior to TV -- boring. Boring is good in my book. But boring is not good to TV executives, and not good to media publishers, who have done their part in throwing mud, i.e. the New York times recent article about McCain and the lobbyist, or Dan Rather in Rathergate, or the Swift Boat Attacks against John Kerry in 2004, or the Borking of Robert Bork when he was nominated for the Supreme Court by Bush 41.

Another good example is the Bill Clinton/Monica Lewinski saga. If the media would have known back in the early 1960s how attracted Americans are to mudslinging, the Kennedy affairs would have been splashed all over the Media back then, and Nixon would have been elected in 1960 instead of later on.

The way we view politics in this country has definitely changed. I think it is for the worse. I suppose most people love it, but not me.

It's an interesting concept anyway.


Nikki said...

HAHAHA LOL!!!I am cracking up!! I love this!!!and am adding the link to your other one!!! I love it of course because I love seeing my name in print #1 and #2 I have never been quoted before!! OK and you make some great points. It would be nice to hear some politicians teaching us why their economic policy is a winner vs. ripping on the current policy or an opposing one.....great read and good laugh!! :)N

Freadom said...

I am equally thrilled to see my name in print, and 2 links on the top of your page makes me feel honored. I might develop an ego.

icanseeclearlynow said...

hey freadom, i thought i heard violins playing during the last four paragraphs. and is it me or was there a choir singing too? LOL!!

i am quite sure history is REPLETE with mudslinging and histrionics. it's just not recorded in the history books. dirt is something you have to dig for. i LOVE dirt. it's FUN to read. so what if our candidates don't always stick to the issues! *YAWN* where's the fun in THAT!

another GREAT post. keep em coming!