I think the biggest turn-off for people and politics these days is the mud-slinging. Nobody wants to vote for someone who’s done nothing but denigrate someone else, or had his/her hatchet-men denigrate them. I think it’s a big block to people wanting to serve, as well.
The big concern is that someone will turn up something embarrassing, and it will turn into scandal.
Unfortunately, it’s how the Democrats won the Congress in 2006. They’d like to think it was due to people finally identifying with their ideas, but it was mainly due to an under-performing Republican congress that was entrenched in scandal. Hurricane Katrina, the Iraq War, ethics violations, arrests, embarrassing actions in airport bathrooms– it was a mess. And what did the Democrats campaign on? Ending the war. At that point, the economy was doing better, so they couldn’t run on that. Instead, they wanted to end the war. Truth be told, nobody wanted to vote for an incompetent, corrupt Republican Congress. So in waltzed the Democrats.
I’ve noticed a trend for many years. Democrats cannot win on ideas alone. If you listen to the Democrat idea, it’s tax more, spend more, put in universal health care, end the Iraq war, and confront new & existing threats with aggressive diplomacy. It’s been the same card for over 20 years. Carter led the charge, and people copied him. Clinton attempted Universal Health Care, and it failed. Locations that rely on Government hand-outs (lower-income urban neighborhoods, universities) tend to support Democrats. It’s something most people don’t like– getting taxed more to pay for someone else’s expenses.
The ordinary tax-payer knows this. Any time a Republican says a Democrat will raise your taxes, there’s little doubt that they will. Democrats can’t offer values and ideas that have broad, resonant appeal, so they recognize that the only way to win is to smear the other person long enough, or dig up something embarrassing, that forces the Republican to withdraw or damages them enough to seal a Democrat victory.
In 2004, when Obama was running for US Senate against Jack Ryan, the Chicago Tribune sued (and won) to have Ryan’s sealed divorce records opened (something both Jack and Jeri Ryan opposed). Rather than have the contents of his divorce exposed to public light, Jack Ryan decided to drop-out of the race and spare his then 7-year-old son the humiliation of reliving his parent’s divorce. There was no reason to sue to get the records opened as the records had no bearing on Ryan’s presentation of ideas! The entire purpose was to smear and humiliate, something Democrat-aligned publications will be happy to do for their brothers in ideology. (Ryan was replaced with Alan Keyes who did the best he could and picked up 25% of the vote.)
Now, the DNC Political Machine has sent people up to Wasilla with the express purpose of digging for dirt on Sarah Palin. Why? Because they can’t have an open debate in the realm of ideas.
When I was 18, I left the Democratic party behind for just such behavior in California. There is no honor in attacking a candidate’s appearance, mocking them through “satirical” art, spreading half-truths and lies, and even scrutinizing the actions of an 8-year old girl (much to their disgust). There is no shame– these cynics highlight the worst humanity has to offer. And for people to find this behavior acceptable is beneath contempt.
I’ll never vote Democrat, at least until I see a huge shift in behavior and honorable behavior.
Interestingly, I’ve not read anything on Michelle Obama’s kids. I remember the outrage (both right and left) when people attacked teenaged Chelsea Clinton. Nobody would touch Amy Carter. But now it’s OK to attack the children of the second woman nominated for VP?
Disgusting and dishonorable.