Will Character Matter?

by Denis G. Campbell

Character matters. The question I have midway through voting on this Election Day is will racist, xenophobic low information voters recognise that it does?

I have stared at my computer monitor often in slack-jawed horror and amazement that blatant, overt lies have not, to this point had any consequence for the GOP/Tea Party. Indeed their motto is if one spends enough money and repeats a lie often enough it becomes narrative, then truth.

What began 13-months ago in the cornfields of Iowa and boroughs of New Hampshire has, thankfully, come to an end. We’ve survived months of debate beginning with the seven dwarfs vying for the Republican nomination.

We endured Herman Cain’s 9-9-9, Romney and Perry’s $10,000 bets and… what was that third thing again? Oops. We watched Donald Trump flail and Michele Bachman fail. The one decent man the GOP could have put forward to challenge and engage the President in a serious debate, former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman, was left in the starting gate because he was too serious and sober in a snarling red meat eating environment.

We needed a campaign of big ideas. Instead we got Etch-a-Sketch flip-flop moments and $73 million dollars of attack adverts spent in the last week of the campaign. I felt sorry for the YouTube featured young girl in Colorado who cried because of the barrage of adverts and attacks from ‘Bronco Bama and Mitt Romney.’

The racist, white Obama Derangement Syndrome is a throwback to the 1960’s and is a dangerous statement. Mitt Romney has no character or conscience. He has demonstrated time and again he will say whatever he can get away with saying, deny he ever held another position and then not ever be held accountable for changing his position. That evangelical Christians can for decades say his LDS Mormon Church is a cult but suspend all that to defeat the antichrist Obama, is beyond comprehension.

I’ve seen it in business time and time again. “What can I get away with?” vs. “What is the right thing to do.”

What I cannot understand is how a man of deep faith, an ordained minister in his church, can have such a loose and flexible relationship with truth, changing it for whatever audience he faces? I’ve seen it before.

Back in the ‘90s I got involved in a local political campaign and, as shocking as it may sound, supported a Republican candidate for Columbia council in MD. He was my neighbour, I liked him personally and knowing a couple of things about the media, I volunteered to handle some of his press and interest group responses.

As we got into the campaign and position papers had to be filed with various groups, I became uneasy with and called him on his changing positions to fit whatever a specific group was looking to hear. Rather than make a big deal about it at the time, I simply drifted away. I could not be associated with shape-shifting. When asked by a local newspaper after the election, I spoke truthfully about my discomfort with his message shifting.

The attacks were direct and brutal from his surrogates. They referred to my ‘problems,’ (I was going through a very bitter divorce at the time) and it was interesting to watch, even writ small, how the GOP attack apparatus worked.

This election has been vitriolic and divisive. The most divisive and racist in recent history and whoever wins will face a very angry electorate. $2 billion dollars have been spent on this race alone, $6 billion in total amongst all House, Senate and Gubernatorial races. That money has gone into television adverts that attack everything. How any decent person ever runs for office in the face of such scrutiny y and attack is beyond one’s imagination.

The American people have been denied a serious debate on issues. Every statement is parsed and focus-grouped to the point where there is zero meaning. When Mitt Romney took the President’s use of the word ‘revenge’ and twisted it behind his simpering Hallmark line and smirk last night, I had to be restrained from throwing a shoe through the television screen.

So it’s nearly over except the counting. We’ll be here to watch. Either way we win. We either get to attack Romney for the next four years or hold The President’s feet to the fire.

Now let’s make sure the American people and by extension the rest of the world don’t lose everything gained the last four years. Vote for President Obama. It is the most important vote you will likely ever cast.

Denis G Campbell View more

Denis G Campbell
Denis G. Campbell is founder and editor of UK Progressive magazine and co-host of The Three Muckrakers podcast. He is the author of 7 books and provides Americas, EU and Middle Eastern commentary to the BBC, itv, Al Jazeera English, CNN, CRI, MSNBC and others. He is CEO of Monknash Media and a principal with B2E Consulting in London. You can follow him on Twitter @UKProgressive and on Facebook.

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