Although the US presidential election campaign has been going on since, well, the last presidential campaign ended, we’re getting into the thick of it now. The Republican National Convention is this coming week (hurricane permitting). The Democrats will follow after that. We will then have debates, robocalls, and the most horrific campaign ads we’ve seen since Daisy. After all that, we American citizens are expected to pick a president and whatever nutty running mate he’s bringing along.
And as one of those citizens who will cast a vote, I’d like to ask that those politicians follow three simple rules.
1. Stop making stuff up!
More than enough has been said Representative Todd Akin’s statement. Regardless of your stand on abortion or women’s rights, there is one thing on which we should all agree: You don’t make things up to try to prove your point!
Is there anyone who doesn’t know how babies are made? Children learn about this in fifth grade health class! Akin’s comments aren’t just offensive to women in general and rape victims in particular. They insult the intelligence of any reasonably educated person. Insulting people is no way to win their votes.
Furthermore, you can’t talk about terminating pregnancies without knowing how women become pregnant in the first place. By his asinine comment, Akin disqualified himself from talking about abortion. Moving on…
2. Tell us why we should vote for you, not why we should vote against the other person.
Think about a candidate. Any candidate. Can you name one thing the candidate stands for? One thing that candidate would do if elected? You probably can’t. Most political campaign speeches are: “My opponent is a greedy communist Nazi socialist capitalist who is trying to destroy free markets, civil rights, the middle class, Christianity, free speech, and AMERICA!! He follows the failed example of George W. Bush, Jimmy Carter, and William Henry Harrison! If he is elected or reelected, America will turn into a bankrupt vassal state of China, ruled by the 1%, where gays will be forced back into the closet without the traditional values that made America great!” If the candidates aren’t saying this, their Super PAC ads are.
Candidates, is it too much for you to give us a reason why we should vote for you? We’re sick of having to pick the lesser evil. Give us something good to pick. Speaking of which…
3. Give us a reason to hope.
Ronald Reagan’s “Morning in America.” Barack Obama’s “Hope.” Why are they the most effective campaign slogans in recent history? They give us a way out. They assure us things can get better. More importantly, they assure us that we are better than our circumstances. It is wrong for us as citizens for us to put our faith in a political leader (and such faith has gone into some horrible directions.) But a good political leader can instill confidence, provide reassurance, and inspire us as individuals to make our nation and our planet better.
My challenge to all our candidates is: What will you do as a leader to rebuild our confidence and give us hope? We know things are bad. We don’t have to reminded of this. What can you do to help us make things better?
Remember, no hitting below the belt, and let’s have a good clean fight.