Saturday, August 16, 2008

Election Campaign Truth

Candidates in England get about six weeks to campaign, the election is held, and then the politicians get back to the business of running the country. I sure wish it worked that way here.

Political campaigns in the United States give me a headache. There is precious little communicating and a whole lot of pontificating in campaign ads, speeches and from talking heads pretending to be journalists. The closer we get to the election, the more ridiculous it gets. Thank goodness for and

Our country was founded on a great ideal but it works only if the citizens who live here take an active part in governing it. Sadly, we got lazy. Now we make our decisions based on the emotion generated by 30-second TV ads.

Why do we do that? We know politicians lie to us yet we believe what they say without question – no matter how preposterous it all sounds. We put our common sense on the shelf and hope that the people who run for office, whether school board trustee or president of the United States, can be trusted. Unfortunately, recent history shows us that many people asking for our support are lying to get it.

For those who care about the choices they make, there is a Web site that sorts fact from fiction. is a non-partisan site that shows us the truth behind the claims made in speeches and ads. tells us, among other things, where the millions of dollars come from that finance a candidate’s campaign and provides a view of a candidate’s actual voting record. Both sites include races for Congress and the Senate in addition to providing information about the presidential contest.

Perhaps the reason we no longer seek the truth is that, as one famous movie character stated, “You can’t handle the truth.” I remain optimistic that we Americans will ignore the television ads and find out the whole story on the candidates. If we don’t, we have lost the one thing our founding fathers fought so hard to gain – the freedom to govern ourselves. If we blindly believe what we are told, we might as well go back to being ruled by a king.

Please. Before you trust what any politician tells you in a campaign ad, find out the facts. Visit and often.

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