When I was a child, I looked up with admiration, respect and even awe at the people who were in public office. I never heard much about illegal financial activities or illicit sexual relations. News anchors always spoke with respect about our governmental officials, and debates and opinions were offered with dignity.
Here I am, at 61, hearing that if you don’t vote for a black candidate that you are a racist (but you’re not if you’re voting for a candidate specifically because they are black). I’m hearing feminists attack a woman Vice Presidential candidate simply because she’s pro-life. I’m watching television political ads which outright lie and offend basic sensibilities, with both parties presenting people who don’t really have the true knowledge and experience to be the most powerful representative of the free world. I’m seeing a candidate with child-care issues and an out-of-wedlock teen pregnancy in her family, candidates appearing on undignified mass entertainment comedy programs to win votes, and a cacophony of television and radio commentators saying the most outrageously mean things about people they don’t know personally. I’m also hearing about mass cheating in voter registrations, and a populace which seems to be relatively disinterested in facts…just emotions, looks and personality.
The years of vulgar reality programs and media free speech, unfettered by responsiblity, have dumbed us down and made us crass. According to a recent Pew Research Center poll, only 18% of Americans know which party holds the House majority, can name the American Secretary of State, or the Prime Minister of Britain. I find this a bit scary – and very sad.