The face of politics is getting ugly

” Ohio’s primary election on Tuesday had an approximate 51 percent voter turnout, which is impressive considering that most people focus primarily on the big one in November. Of course, this is a good thing because it’s a huge step in the democratic process and Ohio was a big state to win for either democratic candidate.”

Ohio’s primary election on Tuesday had an approximate 51 percent voter turnout, which is impressive considering that most people focus primarily on the big one in November. Of course, this is a good thing because it’s a huge step in the democratic process and Ohio was a big state to win for either democratic candidate.

It would be nice to think that voters and people who don’t vote-but like to throw their politically-charged philosophically rhetorical two cents in whenever they get a chance-focus only on the issues, but that’s simply not the case. And there’s at least one very distinct cause of that: partisanship. Did you know there’s actually a shirt for sale that says, I only sleep with Democrats, out there? It’s a shame that some people’s voting record reflects that same principle.

Think about it. There are significant differences between the Republican and Democratic candidates that can easily be pointed out and summarized in comprehensible format for those who don’t feel like sifting through loads of facts, statistics, voting histories, articles, etc. to rely upon. Note that rely is being used loosely. Between the two parties (each of which being the worst party you’ve ever been to), comparing and contrasting is fairly easy.

However, when it comes to candidates of the same party such as Obama and Clinton, the lines become a bit more blurry. There are a lot of similarities between members of the same party but there are also a lot of differences, usually involving the way to go about achieving common goals.

The point here is that when similarities by party affiliation are given much more attention than differences by nature and character, and the ultimate goal of the candidates is to sway public opinion in their favor based upon the differences, what results is little more than a he said, she said exercise in twisting facts around and manipulation of public perception.

The media’s (and candidates’ sponsors) portrayal of the candidates certainly doesn’t help this situation, and in fact helps to perpetuate it. Voters looking for an easy way to make a decision also haven’t done much to reverse this trend.

Hence, the not-so-new face of politics has become quite ugly, with a mouth that does little more than talk smack about another candidate, paying little attention to the specifics of the issues until elected, and then doing something completely different from what they said they’d do.

Apparently, it’s okay for politicians to do that now. But please realize, there are some people out there who still realize that what’s actually occurring is candidates simply trying to make the other person look bad and themselves look better in an attempt to sway public opinion. Which would be fine if it was based solely on the issues, but it’s gotten to the point where it’s more about contorting what someone said to the point that it no longer accurately reflects what they want for the country, and the voters’ opinion is changed accordingly.

Obama said he opposed the Iraq war from the beginning and Clinton supported it. Clinton conveniently modified that opinion, saying that she was for weapons inspectors going there but against everything else that happened.

Clinton has an ad out that, in short, points out that experience is necessary to run a country and that Obama doesn’t have what it takes. But that doesn’t consider that just because you’ve been doing something for a long time doesn’t mean you’re good at it. It just means you’re not good at other things.

Both of these instances prove that the emphasis in an election is no longer only focused on how a candidate feels about any issue, the way it should be. It’s more about what you can say to question someone’s character or change your own previous stance on something to be more socially acceptable, effectively (and shamefully) drawing public attention away from the issues.

Let’s hope that something can be done to reverse this trend and that more people stay focused on how candidates feel about the issues, not each other. Keep that in mind in the months leading up to November.