Editorial of the Week: “The Political Wars Are In Operation”
Polls show Senator Barack Obama’s lead over Senator John McCain is growing which is an absolute guarantee, dirty tactics will grow in political intensity. Rumors of Barack Obama being a Muslim continue circulating, and the latest twist is, even if he is not a Muslim, he is part of Marxist radical Christian theology. The boys of summer will soon be replaced by the dogs of Fall wars in which anything and everything that can be summoned up on the part of either side, will be circulating on the Internet or in the media.
In all honesty, political smear tactics are an old standby in American politics. Al Smith was the first Catholic to run for the presidency and he was subject to continual attacks about his alleged connections to the Pope. On the night of his defeat, the ever humorous governor of New York told reporters: “I just sent a telegram to the Pope saying he could unpack his bags.” Franklin Roosevelt’s wife, Eleanor, was accused of being a lesbian, having love affairs with Negro men, and being a secret communist.
W can expect to hear all about Senator McCain’s connection to the famous Keating bank scandal of the 1980s, his wife will be accused of failing to pay taxes, and there will be cynical remarks about how come he allowed himself to get shot down. Smear tactics are simply the American way of engaging in political warfare. Perhaps, the difference in 2008 is the presence of MySpace and Facebook, which now allow a single nut case to spread his/her smears across the entire nation within a few moments.
Senator McCain did offer an interesting proposal in suggesting a series of town hall meetings with Senator Obama which would allow the nation to observe an intelligent discussion between the candidates. Obama turned it down for the reason he saw no reason to offer his opponent an opportunity to get free air time. It is unfortunate Senator Obama did not engage in this form of political discussion since it would have moved the campaign away from smear tactics to political discussions.