*“Oh what incivility thou hast wrought. The slings and arrows of your words
and ways doth bring angst and woe.”
I can’t attribute this quote to anyone except to me and the acrimony I see this political season that has elicited this prose from the depths of my Shakespearian soul.
This midterm political season is unlike anything I’ve experienced in my life. Midterm elections are basically hoe hum, real sleepers. It’s a sad fact of politics, especially after a Presidential election. But au contraire, mon ami not this time.
It’s considerably ramped up and nasty this season. Nasty is probably an understatement. Voter rage and anger is more of what characterizes it. Voter anger and rage over what? The policies and position of the current administration and a general disdain for politicians and the political process seems to be at the root of what it’s all about.
The irony of it is that we need erudite versus neophyte politicians who understand politics to advance sound public policy. But the wave of hostility and animosity displayed this political term eems to be opposed to this fundamental idea. And for me, this is as perplexing as it is just plain wild.
Take Christine O’Donnell for example. Her victory in the Delaware primary over longtime Republican Congressmember Mike Castel was stunning – it literally stunned and stung most people who viewed her as unelectable. But as Don King would say, “Only in America” could something like this ever happen.
The only experience she has in politics is her two failed attempts at running for a Senate seat. The allegations about her lack of employment, stack of outstanding debts and experimentation into witchcraft were inconsequential to the voters in Delaware. Instead they sent a message at the polls that character and experience are irrelevant. What appears to be important to voters of the ilk of those in Delaware is – well you fill in the blank because I don’t want to descend too far on this issue because I am on the edge.
It’s quite unbelievable what has happened in that are so many qualified candidates and qualified women candidates that are highly qualified to serve in such an important leadership position. Ms. O’Donnell just makes a mockery of their stellar qualifications and experience.
But in California, the state I live in, we’ve got our own conundrum with the candidacy of former eBay CEO and billionaire Meg Whitman who has spent and unprecedented $141.6 million of her own money in vying against another long time politician Jerry Brown for governor. Or maybe buying is a better choice of words.
Here again, a candidate with no political experience, surrounded by allegations of corporate greed, outsourcing, downsizing, maid-gate, and the icing on the cake is her alleged blotchy record in doing her basic civic duty of voting. Yet for some it doesn’t matter. What seems to matter this season is advancing candidates who “strike out against the ordinary.” That’s actually a phrase coined by a profiler in back in 2002 in trying to explain the behavior of the two D.C. snipers – I digress, but it seems to fit.
To be fair, in terms of politics the analogy points to my belief that the anger we see is an attempt to strike out against all incumbency by any means necessary or contemptible.
It’s often said that democracy is noisy. Those who scream the loudest get heard. Unfortunately the voices screaming the loudest have the spoil of candidates like Christine O’Donnell to show for their efforts. Their agenda seems motivated by a referendum on President Obama and the policies of his administration than anything else if we just call a spade a spade.
Come Election Day I wonder how many rookies and renegades will take the helm catapulted by the will of angry and enraged voters at a time in our history when we need public servants with the wisdom, context, experience, discipline, maturity and vision to restore our union and provide for our common defense rather than personalities that pontificate party speak and obstruct justice for most with their clueless words and deeds.
While the momentum of anger and rage of some voters has left me a bit speechless and in a state of disbelief, November 2, 2010 I will speak with my vote.
(If you have comments about Veronica’s View, email them to [email protected])