I’m a Conscientious Objector–to Politics

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mudslinging

con·sci·en·tious (k n sh – n sh s) ob·ject·or (ˈäb-jikt-ər)

Noun Abbr. CO

One who on the basis of religious or moral principles refuses
to bear arms or participate in military service.

I walked into the bedroom after blogging yesterday morning and was greeted by the strains of a nasty political attack ad. “Oh, brother,” I said, “here we go. It’s time to stop listening to the radio for the next few weeks.”

In our local U.S. Senate race, we have a country song calling the Republican the worst of Washington D.C. As a songwriter, I can say it’s actually a really clever, well-written song. But the message is so nasty that I can’t believe the Democrat actually “approved this message.” What was she thinking?

On the other side, we have the Republican using a married couple who are throwing out all the usual half-truths, warped truths, and outright lies in a tone of voice that makes it clear that if I’m so stupid as to think differently from them, I’m without worth as a human being. It insults the intelligence of every voter while stripping the opposing candidate of her innate human dignity.

How did we reach this point? I know that negative campaigning is the reality of the game, but I’ve had it. The attitude flaunted in attack ads is one of profound disrespect for the human dignity of the person’s opponent, and I’m not going to reward it anymore by voting for them. Which means I won’t be voting for a new U. S. Senator, for one.

To those who are horrified by my casting aside my civic duty, I say: this is my civic duty. It is my civic duty to send people to Washington (and to the state government) who will represent me and what I believe. A person who shows every day that he or she is willing to do anything, however morally offensive, to achieve power, is incapable of representing what I believe, because treating others with respect is fundamental to everything else. How can I teach my children to care for others, to think outside themselves and seek a better world, while I am systematically putting people into office who can act in such a way?

To those who say we have to make the best of the candidates we’re given, I say: enough. I don’t care what they say they believe in. Nothing justifies the full-frontal assault on human dignity. If they are capable of that level of disrespect for their opponents, they are capable of that level of disrespect for you. They will not listen to you; they will not listen to each other; they will do nothing but pursue their own agenda, thus continuing the cycle of vitriol and general uselessness in politics.

So any candidate that approves this kind of slime this campaign season will not get a vote from me. Anybody care to join me?

8 thoughts on “I’m a Conscientious Objector–to Politics

  1. I have sat certain elections out before for this reason. I actually wrote a letter to the guy I had voted for in the past in the 2006 election when I was very unhappy with his tactics in campaigning. I will say, though, that I respect our representative because he called me and we discussed it. I don’t know how much a difference I made (obviously none in the election I sat out)…but I hope our conversation will give him something to think about the next time he is tempted to get “down and dirty” in the campaign game.

    Voting is such a critical thing…I definitely don’t take it lightly to sit one out. But I don’t blame you either. I would simply encourage you to open dialog with the candidates you are talking about…you never know where it might lead!

    • Ordinary people make a difference in ordinary life. Politics is a whole other thing. This isn’t cynicism, although I definitely have cynicism about politics, and with good reason–I’ve tried to effect change through the political process, and it’s incredibly demoralizing. But that’s not what this is about. This is about taking a stand for something that’s important–namely, civility and respect. Michelle is right about writing the candidates and telling them they lost your vote by going negative. Imagine if a million people did just that?

  2. I’m with you. 🙂 I have also sat out elections because I simply couldn’t decide between two people who seemly equally… well, evil/i>.
    I wanted a clear conscience at the end of the day.

    I just wish there were enough “funds” to get an honest, ethical person elected. 😛

  3. dottie Sowash

    If I’m correct on this, Carnahan supports partial birth abortion. Blunt may not be the best one for the job, but hopefully, the better.

    • In the past, I have always voted in races for reasons just like this. But we just keep sending people to Washington who keep doing the same things, and we keep being frustrated by the tone of politics because they carry on in D.C. the same way they carry on in the campaigns. The only way to make a difference is to send a message to the candidates that this is unacceptable behavior. By myself I can’t change a thing, but if a bunch of people do it, who knows?

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