Archive for November, 2012

Civility in the face of Disaster

The aftermath of Hurricane Sandy is making the lives of millions of people downright miserable, yet it’s really hard to feel empathy when we’re still being bombarded with political attack ads. It was irritating enough before. Now, it’s just pisses me off.

I will be the last person to deny others their 1st amendment rights. In kinder words, I have had people pretty much call me a smut peddler. That’s their prerogative. Don’t like it? Don’t read it. So if some special interest group has the will and the money to push their agenda by smearing a political candidate that they don’t agree with, who am I to say they can’t?

The problem is BILLIONS (with a big ol’ capital B) of dollars are being siphoned into these superpaks that have no contact information, no brick and mortar address, and work under almost complete immunity from possible consequences if their statements are defamatory. Front Line did an awesome piece on them the other night.

So all that money is being spent simply to try to convince you and me about how bad a person is, while millions of people are facing devastation. Where is the sense in that? If these supposed non-profit groups had just taken a tiny percentage of all that political influence money and given it to a disaster relief fund, any disaster relief fund,  imagine how much more good that money would be doing right now instead of annoying the hell out of us.

It’s no wonder that there is no trust in our political system anymore. Public good has become a dirty turn of phrase in a climate of  “just me, right now.” That needs to change. We all live under the same rule of government on the same chunk of real estate. We all need to get along, because when the proverbial shit storm comes our way, we’re all we’ve got.

The political activist group that happens to serve your favorite flavor of Koolade isn’t going to come over and help you bail out your basement or make sure your grandma’s not freezing to death in her little apartment in the next state. It’ll be your neighbor, that crazy tea-partier, or her neighbor, that weird feminist with the two last names that does it. Ignore the rhetoric for now, and practice some good, old-fashioned civility.