In politics it would be novel to have a gracious rival. Modern political campaigners might take a lesson in graciousness and kindness from the great British statesman, Edward Campbell .
Once when Campbell was opposing Thackereay for a seat in Parliament, the two contenders, in course of their campaigning, met and engaged in friendly conversation. On taking leave of his rival Thackereay remarked,
'May the best man win!'
'Oh, no,' replied Campbell, 'I hope not, I want to win!'
E.J. Dionne Jr., author of They Only Look Dead, ascertains that politics in America today are nothing more than 'politics of moral annihilation'. As an example of this he refers to the presidential election of 1992. Normally , press conferences are called when political matters arise. The conference mentioned was called by the conservatives. Paula Jones came forward and accused Bill Clinton of sexual harassment; apparently Mr. Clinton made 'unwelcomed sexual advances" . He continues to point out that these are the same conservatives that only a few years earlier had denounced the idea of sexual harassment as 'feminist invention'.
It is acts like this that are aiding in the 'moral annihilation' of politics. The overall impact of such politics is undermining the intelligence of the American populous by turning political campaigning into a childlike power struggle. Both the Democrats and Republicans have reverted to a state of guerrilla media warfare.
Every time election year rolls around we begin to hear the usual complaints of how politics is morally corrupt. It typically means we get to see the superficial image-oriented campaigning, negative attacks against one's opponent, and the thirty-second spot commercials that intrr upt our favorite sitcom. Experts note that the rates of political participation in the United States, as measured by the percentage of eligable voters who register and actually cast their ballot, has been dropping for years, in part due to the fact that citizens are disgusted with the conduct of political campaigns.
From this we can clearly see overall impact of this type of politics does infact undermind how the populus acts in 3 ways:
1)don't watch televison
2)don't care and
This then brings us to the second point of how this is harmful to democracy. As I stated before it turns political campaigning into a childlike game for power. Author Daniel O'Connell once said: 'A politican doesn't stand on his own record; he jumps on the other fellows. An example of this in Dionne's book is the Senate election in Virgina.
Oliver North ran an commercial that talked about Senetor Chuck Robb:
'Why can't Chuck Robb tell the truth? About the cocaine parties where Robb said he never saw drugs-then four of his party friends were sent to prison for deaing cocain. Or about a beauty queen in the hotel room in New York. Robb says it was only a massage. 'Chuck Robb lived a lie and violated his oath of good faith to the people,' writes Richmond Times-Dispatch. Character counts, and North has it all over Robb.
Dionne then points out that Robb replies ever so quickly with an 'tag, your it' ad, claiming that North has told so many lies, '...people wonder does North even know what the truth is.'
It is these childlike games for power that causes people to question the validity of politics itself. Both Oliver North and Chuck Robb lacked political insight and only hindered the citizen's of Virginia right to democracy. It begins in one state and soon will spread throghout the United States. Dionne unfortuatly points out that due to moral annihilation, democracy is already is being harmed.
This now bring us to the third and final point. What have both Democrats and Republicans done or failed to due that has encouraged the 'Politics of Annihilation'
Democrats problems started in the late 1970's. At this time government was becoming less and less popular. The government had to much control over the people. Thus the Democrats capitalized and swayed middle-class. In truth, Democrats according to Dionne 'really did support expansive governent.' They have never had any problems taking cheap shots at Republicans (ie. social security, Medicare, and even school lunch programs). The overall effect has become less and less each year.
During the Regan years Democrats