Observations on Campaigns

Political Campaign Observations

Posted on November 7, 2012 at 12:46 pm

Notes from the Old Noank Jail

Speaking for myself, I am glad the 2012 National Political Campaign is finished, and that Mr. Obama was re-elected so that he can finish the rest of what he was trying to accomplish. I was concerned that Mr. Romney and the opposition would try to unravel what he had already established. There was far too much distortion of facts and changing of political positions during the campaign.

I'm still a registered Republican. I still want the party to rid itself of the very negative influence that came from the Tea Party movement...financed in large part indirectly by the Koch brothers (source - the New Yorker magazine) who, as most of us have now learned, have their own financial agenda. And watching the (legally authorized!) corrupting influence of anonymous "super pac" money from the very wealthy was almost as distasteful as watching certain state governors deliberately rig the voting procedures against their political opponents (source - MSNBC).

I was ashamed to see the paranoia and misinformation presented by some of the news media (such as Fox News) and various organizations (such as the NRA) against Mr. Obama...which even started right after his inauguration. The hammering, posturing, lack of support and undermining by the Republican Congress itself was relentless. And when the tables were turned and Democrats retaliated, then Republicans, led by Rush Limbaugh and encouraged by Carl Rove, cried "foul." It was distasteful to watch...almost as distasteful as listening to the inane rantings of people like Donald Trump.

So, I hope the National Republican Party will return to a more moderate, centrist position and be more representative of the majority....rather than just represent the extremists along with the very wealthy. I look forward to that change in philosophy very much. I like to think that the era of the Nixon administration is long behind us.

Speaking of corruption, wouldn't it be nice if we could get rid of all the highly paid special interest lobbyists? And do away with Super Pacs? And put actual limitation on campaign contributions? Can we be able to vote for people who will actually address this problem?

Meanwhile, here in CT, we had a smaller, less subtle version of the national campaign. I have never received so many negative attack flyers by one candidate (Mrs. McMahon) against another (Senator Murphy) in my 72 years on earth. It was disgusting and I sincerely hope that Mrs. McMahon will stay out of politics and donate her wealth to more worthy causes that can certainly use her help.

On a positive note, we do have some local politicians who have conducted their campaigns in very proper fashion and could serve as good role models for folks on the national level. Andrew Maynard has always conducted himself in a very professional manner and has never stooped to negative attacks against opponents. His political flyers confirm this. Elissa Wright has operated in similar fashion, always accentuating her own positions and accomplishments, without lashing out at opponents...one of whom, Rita Schmidt, actively supported her campaign.

Many of us were also impressed with the campaign by Republican Harry Watson, a local Groton favorite, who went to great efforts to canvas neighborhoods personally. Harry emphasised what he felt were the real issues needing attention, including stronger support of local business, a reduction in state mandates to municipalities (which the state itself would not help finance) and an overall reduction in local taxes.

It is possible to be aggressive without being overbearing. National campaigns can be run properly without corruption, without special interests or major expenses, and without negative attacks. We need to encourage this at all levels.