So, pre-election politics are getting pretty dirty. There's a certain class of people that we can always expect crap from. The type of people that say Obama's a Muslim, for example (like Rush Limbaugh). My mother-in-law still believes that (I'm not worried--she's in Idaho, so her vote doesn't really matter). But it's sad when the politicians themselves get into it. And both presidential candidates are.
Obama claims McCain believes that an income of less than $5 million a year defines middle class. Clearly out of touch, right? McCain did say that...although it's fairly clear that it was said as a joke.
McCain's campaign ad (endorsed by McCain, and later defended by McCain in an interview) claims that Obama wants schools to teach sex ed to kindergartners. Obama's plan, in reality, is a comprehensive sex ed program that would teach age-appropriate information. For kindergartners, it's composed of teaching them how to avoid sexual predators.
It's sad, really, to see these politicians resorting to these tactics. I'm afraid it's getting to the point it did in 2000, when Karl Rove, working for our current president, set up a master plan to defeat McCain in the primaries in South Carolina. Bush's campaign set up a "poll" and asked "Would you be more or less likely to vote for John McCain...if you knew he had fathered an illegitimate black child?" McCain was then campaigning with his adopted non-white daughter. Guess who won in South Carolina?
So why do these tactics work? Why are we, as Americans, so gullible? Why don't we demand the truth?
How can we change things around? I have three recommendations:
1. Stay educated. If you hear something that sounds a little to extreme--like $5 million or sex education in kindergarten--check it out through an unbiased source.
2. Let others know what you find out.
3. Vote against the sleaziest. If their misleading attack ads and tactics backfire in the polls, they'll stop.