Current Opinions: 10/29/14 (Click HERE for Archived Opinions):
It almost seems like piling on to complain about the political season, and to breathe a sigh of relief at its conclusion.
But while it's too easy to poke fun at the political advertisements and the candidates themselves, it's really no laughing matter.
Frustration boils over in those of us who see through the thin veneer of political speech and understand that absolutely nothing they are telling us is true, even if the candidates believe it themselves.
Here in Illinois, and particularly in southern Illinois, have gotten a full blast of deceitful advertisements, and in the past few days the news releases flooding into my email inbox have gone from the ridiculous to the absurd.
Lately, incumbent Illinois governor Pat Quinn has been on the receiving end of a number of email blasts about his position on travel restrictions to stem what is apparently a flood of Ebola cases in the United States (I haven't really been keeping count, but it seems as if it's less than five so far).
For Quinn's part, his operatives have done everything but blame Bruce Rauner directly for deaths in nursing homes of which he was once a far-removed and partial owner. And of course, Rauner's principal sin is his massive wealth, according to Quinn and the Dems.
Is this really what it has come to. Will the Illinois governor's race be decided on the basis of Ebola or one candidate's wealth? Because I'm sorry, but Ebola doesn't have a damned thing to do with it, and neither do Rauner's riches.
Closer to home, it's been amusing to watch incumbent Congressman Bill Enyart's ads pointing out that his opponent, Mike Bost, has something of a temper, and a hair trigger.
It's true that Bost had a screaming, paper throwing, cursing fit on the statehouse floor over a legislative mechanism that he himself voted for, and it's also true that he shot a dog a few decades ago in a fury over the dog having bitten his young daughter.
It's also true that Enyart's political connections positioned him to become a U.S. Congressman in the first place, and that he really doesn't have much in the way of credentials for the job.
The fact is, neither of them is likely worth a damn as a legislator, which should make either of them fit in very well with his 534 colleagues.
And as a friend told me after watching a recent Illinois gubernatorial debate, "We're in big trouble no matter who gets elected."
It would be easy to lay all this at the feet of the politicans themselves, but the sad fact is that we get what we deserve as voters who swallow one of two equally implausible narratives without question.
Politicians are no more to blame for the current state of affairs than McDonald's is for feeding us a steady diet of unhealthy food. Both are giving us exactly what we seem to want.
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