There’s something about this political campaign season that has left us uneasy. The race in the First Congressional district between incumbent Congressman Tim Bishop and his challenger Randy Altschuler is very much mirroring the Presidential race between President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. And by that we mean it’s gotten ugly, with allegations of corruption, shady business practices and nepotism. Even candidates families have been attacked.
Whether you stand with the Republicans, the Democrats or the Tea Partiers, we’re all human, we all have families and no one should have to see their family dragged through the muck over something as mundane as politics.
But perhaps the even bigger issue this year has been the dirty ads that began surfacing after the Super PACs (political action committees) got involved. They are having an obvious influence on federal races and in the battle in the First Congressional District. These ads are not tied to any one candidate – no one is “approving of this message” except the unseen hand that raised unlimited amounts of money to pay for the advertising.
It’s a practice that threatens democracy and in the end, you can be certain many a lobbying group and corporation will have had an inordinate influence on our elections.
We truly wish all candidates could approach the game on a level playing field, but more importantly, that the campaigns were more about the issues and less about empty rhetoric.
Because politics as usual this year is a process that has left us more shaken than stirred.