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The Sun editorial: Overshadowing the truth with accusations and pie crust promises

“You can’t handle the truth!” Jack Nicholson’s character on “A Few Good Men” exclaimed, before his carefully constructed fabrication crumbled down around his ears.

“What is truth?” Pontius Pilate asked, thoughtfully.

This is a question many political candidates also seemed to wrestle with, during the past several months in which we were bombarded with political mailers, signs, telephone messages and TV commercials.

I received phone call after phone call and email after email from one candidate after another, pointing fingers at and making accusations about opponents who were doing the exact same thing.

In times such as election season, I find myself thinking that monarch-led countries like England and Spain might almost have it right.

I have a hard time mustering up respect for candidates who put aside “trivial matters” such as budgets, zoning laws and public services, to loudly expound upon their opponents’ personal lives and choices. Although, on the other hand, this can be a great way to deflect voters’ attention away from the fact that you might not have a great campaign platform.

People no longer believe everything they hear. Candidates who run smear campaigns are really just exposing their own lack of depth and character.

After one particularly trivial spat that I witnessed a few weeks ago, I turned to a fellow journalist and remarked that, if these candidates could handle small issues with such little grace, how could their potential constituents trust them to make decisions about the big issues that plague every municipality?

Political candidates’ campaigns have become less about the voters and more about the politicians themselves. Instead of political flyers’ listing goals the candidates promised to accomplish, many this season contained details about opponents’ failures and disgraces.

This can be seen from the bottom up. I have witnessed finger-pointing and name-calling at the town and village level, and our dear president is still continuing to do so with the country’s 2000 – 2008 leader, despite the nearly six years in which significant change could have – but has not – been accomplished.

I cannot believe that the Founding Fathers enacted our legal system to allow politicians to attain power and wealth. They did not fight for freedom so individuals could further their own gains at the expense of their hardworking constituents.

There are, no doubt, many in government who truly care about the people they have taken oaths to serve. Many times, though, their attempts are overshadowed by the noisy troublemakers. There is truth to the old adage, “the squeaky wheel gets the grease.”

I, for one, am tired of the circus. Of having to dig through the political muck for the kernels of truth.

We were all taught, back in elementary school, that calling names is mean; that working together is a positive thing and that pointing fingers is rude. It seems not everyone has learned these lessons.

Hopefully, as of Tuesday, the political raucous has subsided and those who garnered the most votes are ready to settle in for the long haul and do what they promised to do. I believe that American voters are wise enough to take them to task, if they don’t.

From another great classic: “The truth,” Albus Dumbledore sighed. “It is a beautiful and terrible thing, and should therefore be treated with great caution.”

On a side note: Hamburg School Board members, please remember that your job is to be advocates for the students.

The shenanigans that go on during board meetings are happening at the expense of the young people you have promised to protect and support.

We all know that high school is full of drama, but we should let that stay in the hallways and in the classrooms, and keep the boardroom civil.


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