Today, we received in the mail what will doubtless be the first of many, many political advertisements for the November 2006 elections. It was printed in color on large cardstock, I’m guessing about 11″ by 7″ when doubled-over on itself. Unfold the ad, and you see a lengthy plan of action for the candidate.
Sheila (happy birthday, honey!) quickly observed that the plan of action includes both (a) strong support for the education system AND (b) strong opposition to gun regulation, including weapon registration.
Think about recent headlines, and then take a moment to savor the sad irony that presents itself in this plan. Yet….these are exactly the hot button issues that will catapult a West Texas candidtate into the state legislature. This ad is doing nothing more than telling the people they will get what they want if they vote for this candidate.
Other positions that caught my eye:
– Abortion? No! Capital punishment? Yes!
– Protect rights of patients who use HMOs? Yes! Oppose frivilous lawsuits? Yes! (Trust me here: accomplishing both isn’t nearly as easy as it may sound…)
– Teacher pay raises? Yes! More funding for nursing homes? Yes! Improved FM road system? Sure thing! Tuition grant programs? You bet! Put lots of people in the prison systeml? Count on it! Broadband in rural areas? Why, of course! But…(brace yourself here)…
– State income tax? No! Appraisal tax increases? No! Tax breaks for seniors, military, farmers, ranchers, and – in case we’ve left anyone out – “working families”? Yes! (The only category of people left, “non-working” families, who presumably generate no income to begin with – will apparently somehow be taxed into oblivion…)
– Groundwater conservation? Yes! Protect rights of “property owners”? Yes!
As I said, this is nothing more than politics as usual. Its telling people they can get exactly what they want (when they can’t and won’t)… and assuring them that, if it costs money, someone else will pay for it. We can do it all: send all of the illegal immigrants home, put all the bad guys in jail (forever), give you nice roads to drive on, protect you from frivilous lawsuits, lower your utility and insurance rates, and keep people from outsourcing your job.
I used to think this was amusing, but now it is just depressing. I would RUSH to the polls if I ever found a candidate who would simply tell the truth, speaking realistically about what can and can’t be done by a responsible government.
Is that too much to ask?