Students debate: What was the lowest point of the campaign?
Published: Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, November 20, 2012 17:11
The number of low points in this campaign has been so high that it’s difficult to tell what the lowest point may be.
I could tell you that the lowest point of this campaign season was last July when Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum signed a pledge supporting traditional marriage that suggested that “a child born into slavery in 1860 was more likely to be raised by his mother and father in a two-parent household than was an African-American baby born after the election of the USA’s first African-American President” (this portion of the pledge was eventually removed after public outcry).
I could say that the lowest point occurred when Newt Gingrich revived President Ronald Reagan’s racist rhetoric about “welfare queens” when he started calling President Obama a “food stamp president.”
I could say that the lowest point was when congressman Todd Akin (the man who represents a preponderance of my family in St. Louis) went on television to tell us that victims of “legitimate rape” rarely get pregnant.
Maybe the lowest point was when Gov. Mitt Romney said at a private fundraiser that “47 percent of the people will vote for [Obama] no matter what” and that he would “never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”
Moreover, I would point to the less remembered parts of his remarks where he suggested that being a Latino would be more advantageous to him as a candidate and that, at political events, he prefers to use his wife Ann “sparingly right now so people don’t get tired of her.”
Perhaps the dumbest part of this campaign season involved the debate about new Voter ID laws, a controversy I think was best encapsulated by Republican Pennsylvania House majority leader Mike Turzai’s suggestion that the new law would “allow Gov. Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania: done.”
I could tell you that the dumbest moment involved the horrible miscommunication between the State Department and the White House regarding the terrorist attack in Benghazi and Obama’s attempts to effectively shut down discussion about this incident at the second presidential debate (I can call my side out too, you see).
Who knows? It could even have been the time when Priorities USA, the superPAC supporting President Obama’s re-election, suggested that Romney was effectively complicit in the death of a steelworker’s wife after Bain Capital shut down the man’s plant.
I’m also inclined to think of Stephen Colbert’s superPAC “Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow” and the group’s efforts to support “Rick Parry” in an Iowa straw poll nearly a year and a half ago. Colbert’s brilliant satire doesn’t faze me. I’m more bothered by the amount of undisclosed money flowing into these campaigns both left and right.
The dumbest moment could also have been about a week ago when Donald Trump promised an “October Surprise” of his own, saying that he would donate $5 million to a charity of Obama’s choice if the president merely released his college transcripts and passport information.
This campaign season has been rife with racist dialogue, sexually insensitive remarks, glaring miscommunications and outright lies. I find new reasons to be outraged about what’s happening to this country every day, as I’m sure most of my friends do too.
However, even after an elected representative tries to convince me he knows more about rape than the people I know who have actually suffered sexual abuse, I do not lose hope. Even when Romney suggests that his detractors effectively live off the teat of the nanny state.
I have hope for this country. I have hope for rational discourse. I know it doesn’t happen a lot anymore. But I’ve seen it happen before. I still believe, rather naively, that we can come together in spite of our differences, talk out our problems, build a genuine consensus, and put the interests of this country above our own myopic passions and outrage. I cling to this hope because in today’s political environment there’s little else to which I have left to cling.
Bub is a junior majoring in history, English and political science.
Politics has long been a field fraught with lies, deceit and character assassination. In this day and age, with these countless technological avenues at our dispense, allegations against a party or candidate not only come from campaigns.
Today anyone with an internet connection has the means to slander a candidate or party whether they are the originator of a claim or merely passing it along.
Perhaps the greatest piece of baseless slander from Barack Obama’s campaign and liberals toward Mitt Romney and the Republican party in this election cycle has been the “war on women.”
The alleged war on women did not begin in 2012 with its exact origins being debatable. Has the war been around since a caveman asked his cave-wife to make a salad while he threw the meat on the fire? Did it start when all men were given the right to vote but no women the right to the same?
Did it originate when Sandra Fluke went to the pharmacy and was asked for money in exchange for a product she intended to use? As I said — debatable. However not since the failure to pass the Equal Rights Amendment in the 1970’s has the issue of sex discrimination been so prevalent in the American lexicon.
With the national debt topping $16 trillion, most Americans consider the economy to be the biggest issue.
However as the Obama campaign clearly cannot run on his past performance, especially with the economy, the left has resorted to pitting the sexes against one another.
In doing this liberals have inadvertently suggested that women are no more than their gender — an oppressed minority in this country at the mercy of men.