This is a special time in America. It is the occurrence of the dark side of Politics in American society. It is a time of which we should all be ashamed of as Americans. It is a time when the worst of our inherent evil selves comes out of the closet. A time when a nice caring individual all of a sudden becomes a Mr Hyde and ravages their fellow-men and women all for one set reason that happens every election year. People who would call others their friends until the voting begins, then they do a metamorphosis into a desperate consuming creature trying to devour each other.
I thought that elections should instead bring out the best in those who would want to express their views of the conditions of our nation and tell the people how they would fix the problems that are so evident to all of us. But instead they get on stage or on the media and start to cut at one another and stab at one another as though we had reintroduced the gladiatorial games; throwing our adversaries to the lions or slashing and hacking until there is only one left.
I would love to see their expressions of integrity and honesty and honor and truth in these elections but that is not to be. But we only have a constant barrage of attitudes and words that our mothers would try to shield their children from hearing and seeing. I thought at first that maybe this shows just how far we have come as a people. But then I remembered just how normal this horrible show of hatred and animosity really is in American society.
This type of horrible theatrics during our election process is not a problem of our current societal ills; but is instead a demonstration of our natural beastly sinful nature that lies within us all. While most of us are able to some extent suppress these inner evils which makes us human, when the battle of words and beliefs begins during the election cycle it just seems to unlock the door that is holding back those awful attitudes and turn people into the worst of themselves all in the hopes of being elected to office.
This is not however something that is happening suddenly just in our modern society in our attempt of letting loose of all our inhibitions. This is something that has been going on for nearly our entire history as a nation. In the 1800′ we can see some of the nastiest and dirtiest political attacks against the other persons running for the same elected position. Even during attempts at passage of certain legislation’s there were horrible and hateful things said. But the usual means of expressing their animosity towards one another were done through Political cartoons.
Some of these cartoons were just plain mean and awful. Many were racist such as the following.
Some were concerning particular participants in the elections. The Andrew Jackson/John Quincy Adams elections were some of the dirtiest elections ever. The following poster states: The bloody deeds of General Andrew Jackson and shows corpses supposedly attributed to Jackson. These are only a few of the examples of a history of unapologetic nasty campaigns run by the different candidates and their parties. Even the 1800 campaign between Thomas Jefferson and John Adams were considered quite nasty as each candidate demonized the other.
Perhaps in the future we can escape this American tradition of name calling and denigration. And perhaps, just perhaps, we might deal with the issues of our day which may determine our very existence as a democratic republic; a nation that was founded upon the principles of individualism and hard work and devotion to family and to G-d. A nation who was looked upon as a shining light in a dark world.
But first we must consider personal integrity and honesty and loyalty to our country and to G-d more important than winning an election. I may be an idealist and not a realist here but I believe it would make us a better and more united people and would again make our nation one to be envied for her goodness and righteousness. It was once said that “America is great because America is good”. Oh that we might be that nation again.