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Note to Both Candidates, Surrogates and Supporters

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I consider myself an independent voter.

In the past, I have voted for Democrats, Republicans and Independents, and I'm not ashamed to say so. That doesn't make me a yahoo-hillbilly, uneducated or a cafeteria voter. Being an independent voter makes me uniquely interested in the political system. I'm willing to do an extra amount of homework and not wave the flag for one side or the other simply because they are one side or the other.

Experience is only part of the equation for becoming the leader of the country, and correct me if I'm wrong, but none of the current presidential/veep candidates have any experience in being a president. I like to look at issues, sure, but I also want to get a "feel" of the person running for office. Are they all talk, no action? Is there a glittery facade and no foundation? Am I going to be stabbed in the back six months after the inauguration? Are special interests with money in line to end up with a pot of gold, while me with no money and no PAC find myself skewered and struggling?

These are just some of the questions that rattle around in my independent mind.

Now that both conventions are over, the white gloves have come off and both sides entered the ring swinging. Rather wildly, I must say. Wise people of some intelligence should not play victim and blame the media. (They were too slanted; they weren't tough enough.) The "media" now encompasses not just journalism (or yellow journalism), but celebrity and entertainment reporting. We have become a nation of short attention spans, choosing to watch mere seconds of TV soundbites instead of to read.

As much as we all like to think we are important, bloggers are not always "fair" or "balanced." I read blogs with interest in order to get a feel for other opinions, but cannot believe how many throw unchecked stuff out there (I refuse to call that "stuff" "news items") just to see what will stick and what won't. The Internet is a wonderful thing, but not everything on it is God's (my apologies to those who believe greatly or not at all) solid truth.

My note to both candidates, their surrogates and supporters: it's time for the garbage to stop. Put away the light sabers and get down to the meat of the matter. It is in the best interest for both candidates to do so. Why? Because there is an entire goldmine of untapped, independent, uncommitted voters like me out there. We haven't made our decision yet, but bad behavior is turning us off.

While the emotions for your candidate are understandably high, remember how you look to those who haven't made up their minds yet. You already have the votes of your constituency. Do you really think that rabid name calling, political intrigue and mud-slinging are going to earn you MY vote? Does it really earn anyone's? Is that how you want to win?

As for the constant barrage of TV advertisements, remember that this is a nation where channel surfing should be an Olympic event. Not many, myself included, can stomach commercial advertising. I don't watch much TV and therefore little advertising, but even for people who do, they are not likely to sit through commercials of any kind. In reality, how many votes do you think you have gained with one 30-second spot? Do you really think minds are changed with so little information?

The dream candidate who would garner my vote would stop the ads and put that money where their mouth is, in solving the problems of this country. Of course, I know it's just a dream, but one can hope.

Until sensibility hits both parties, I'm taking a sabbatical from the media and urge others to do the same. There are other ways to learn about your candidates, including books that each have written. Look at the current political season with a critical eye and questioning mind, and get the clutter out before making an informed decision.

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About Joanne Huspek

I write. I read. I garden. I cook. I eat. And I love to talk about all of the above.
  • Joanne,


    Will it actually happen, I am afraid not.


  • jamminsue

    You said: Do you really think that rabid name calling, political intrigue and mud-slinging are going to earn you MY vote? Does it really earn anyone’s? Is that how you want to win?

    I strongly agree, and have one hing to say: The candidates are running from a platform that is based on fear:

    Fear of pro-choice humanitarians, etc
    Fear of pro-life evangelicals; etc

    Both use it and are so mired in the rhetoric they are stuck and can’t get out.

  • It’s not too late to vote for Bob Barr. Because who doesn’t want to see a cartoon elephant in office?

  • Lisa Solod Warren

    Hey, Joanne. For a start, check out Obama’s website, and the Democratic platform…. I will help you with any REAL info you wish to know. Honest. It’s out there. There is little they can actually do, now, you know, until they have the presidency. They can tell you what they will do, and you just have to go with whose ideas you think are best….. That’s all anyone can do.
    Read, listen, watch. Fact check. Watch the debates when they happen. Make sure you check anything that sounds either suspicious or too good to be true:) Look at the records of each. Sometimes “experience,” per se, isn’t such a good thing:)

    In my guy’s favor, though, I think that last election taught the Dems that if they don’t answer ugly ads, then those lies stick in people’s minds and change the course of elections, and ultimately history. So, Obama has had to fight back.

    I appreciate your column, though. I think, in the next 2 months you have time and enough info out there to make up your mind.

  • The tough part about the ugly ads is that when they’re mostly true the only way to refute them is by lying, so we see the dems lying and then lying about the lies they told in the first place. Pretty discouraging to the voters.


  • Baronius

    Joanne, I never would have thought of reading the candidates’ books to learn about them. I don’t mean that in a sarcastic way; it just never occurred to me.

  • Lisa Solod Warren

    You’re kidding, Dave, right?

    I’m no fan of Thomas Friedman, but here’s a quote from his column, today; it actually comes from a Washington Post editorial: “On a day when the Congressional Budget Office warned of looming deficits and a grim economic outlook, when the stock market faltered even in the wake of the government’s rescue of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, when President Bush discussed the road ahead in Iraw and Afghanistan, on what did the campaign of Senator John McCain spend its energy? A conference call to denounce Barack Obama for using the phrase ‘lipstick on a pig’ and a new television ad accusing the Democrat (sic) of wanting to teach kindergarners about sex before they learn to read.”

    And you can actually sit there and accuse the Dems of lying and then refuting the lies by lying again… when McCain had the balls the go on national television and say that both those ads were true….


  • Joanne,

    An article long overdue. Well written and well put. As far as you go, I agree with you fully.

    But, were I looking at this as an American with no option to run to a refuge (an option I took seven years and ten days ago), I would have to go further.

    The candidates do not address the core issue facing the United States. The United States is a debtor nation in hock up to its eyeballs, and this reality both strips your country of the money it needs to extract itself from the various crises dragging it down into the mud, and sucks the will of the leadership (and ultimately the people) to get itself out of the mud.

    That is the core issue you face. Secondary to that are the economic addictions your nation has – like petroleum and cheap credit, and tertiary to that is the fact that keeping over 100,000 soldiers engaged in useless wars is sucking your treasury dry.

    Solve those three issues, and you are all in like Flynn, set to live the life of Riley.

    But none of your candidates address these core issues with an eye towards solving them.

    So, frankly it is easier to channel surf, to sniff at Sarah Palin’s underwear for yet another sex scandal, and to sit back and enjoy the show as the candidates throw lipsticked pigs at each other.

    The only problem with that solution is that you all suffer come 20 January when that particular circus is over and the new emperor with no clothes puts the olive crown upon his head.

  • Joanne,

    I forgot to mention one other point, one that goes along with the others. Your nation does not exist in a vacuum in the world. Other nations see your nation’s weakness and determine how to act accordingly. Israel’s present leaders can be discounted as meaningless. They’re just bought out ghetto Jews with no balls and fewer brains.

    But when you get to Russia, France, Germany and China, you need to think seriously. Of all the leaders who may present a threat to the United States, I suggest that Vladimir Putin presents the greatest threat.

    First of all, the United States has been following a policy of surrounding Russia with military bases since the collapse of the USSR. So long as Boris Yeltsin wandered drunkenly in the halls of the Kremlin, it was not an issue of importance. However, this policy has enraged most Russians, who resent not only the loss of world power status but the actions of the United States in surrounding them with hostile bases. So a fire of resentment already exists, and Russians nurse hatreds like they nurse good caviar on the plate.

    Vladimir Putin is no drunk, even though, like most Russians, he likes his liquor. He has a clear head and a fit body. His background is from a unit of professional killers in the Red Army, the Spetsnaz, similar in some ways to America’s Special Forces, but far more shadowy in nature.

    The unofficial symbol of the Spetsnaz is the wolf. The wolf is used to bringing down far bigger animals by acting in concert, and the United States, drunk on its own self-absorption is ready to be brought down.

    I recommend two books for you to read, both by the spy who defected to the west who still will be executed if he returns to Russia, Victor Suvorov. They are, “The Aquarium” and the “The Spetsnaz”. Outdated as they are, they still provide a look into the world from which Vladimir Putin comes, and what he brings to the table as a Russian leader.

  • Sorry for the rant, but it felt good. Then I spent Sunday sans TV, instead using the time to create things, both on paper and with my hands.

    I’ve been visiting all the web sites over the last year. Hillary’s by far was the most informative, but she’s not the candidate. I am almost finished with “The Audacity of Hope” and can see why people are drawn to Obama. He’s quite skillful at turning a phrase, but there are some problems that I am having with the message. (I don’t care to go into it here, until I’ve read the entire book.)

    Ruvy :”The candidates do not address the core issue facing the United States.”

    Yes, that is true. I’m most concerned with economic collapse, and not just recession like we have in Michigan right now. Something entirely world changing. I, however, don’t see either major candidate addressing that.