This Week's Get Outta Town
It seems like just yesterday that you couldn’t turn on the television without a barrage of political ads. Or open your mailbox without a pile of mostly untrue campaign literature. Or turn on the AM talkshows without hearing how certain candidates didn’t care about South Dakota.
Well, it was seven months ago, and even though we’re a year and a half away from the next election, it’s time to start preparing. At least that’s what two half-wits recently announced. Robert Regier, executive director of the Rushmore Policy Council, and local businessman Paul Erickson, not to be confused with the local musician and Elvis Costello fan of the same name, are in the process of raising almost a million bucks to complain that a certain Democrat is “an obscenity” whose defeat would be a “political act of hygiene”.
I’m not saying that I’m necessarily of fan of Senator Daschle. There are certainly reasons to not support his political campaign. But an “obscenity”? C’mon.
This is an example of the dark side of politics in the 21st century. Fools on both sides of the political spectrum look at the world as black and white. But nothing is that easy. The world is actually many, many shades of grey, and both sides have their positives and negatives.
And let’s be fair. Whether you agree with Daschle or not, is he really evil? Is any politician truly evil? Ok, maybe Jesse Helms. Or Edward Kennedy. Or Janklow. Hell, Dick Cheney scares me sometimes. But an opposing viewpoint does not mean one is aligned with Satan.
Going off on a tangent, I have to include a rant a bit about the controversies surrounding the Dixie Chicks, Tim Robbins, and Hollywood in general. Who really cares what these people think? They have every right to have their opinions, no matter how unpopular they may be.
The reaction to these people’s opinions have been completely over the top. Radio is no longer playing the Dixie Chicks, which may be a dream come true to someone who hates them as much as I do, but let’s ban them due to musical incompetency rather than a silly thing that one of them said on the stage. As for Robbins and Sarandon, they’ve been consistent in their feelings regarding the concept of war. After all, they blasted Clinton in the 90’s when we were in Kosovo.
Speaking of inconsistent, I have a trivia question. What talk show host said the following regarding said action in Kosovo – “Support the troops but don’t support the policy”? Rush Limbaugh, the same man leading the charge against anyone who spoke out against the war in Iraq.
And if we strive to be consistent, if one is to rant against the political talk of actors and musicians, then that has to go across the board. Charlton Heston should keep his comments to the movie screen, as should Bruce Willis and Arnold Swartzenegger. Toby Keith and Travis Twit’s words should also be taken with a grain of salt. If “liberal” Hollywood and Nashville aren’t allowed to have opinions, then neither should the conservative side of the street…and trust me, there’s more conservatism in the entertainment world than the conservative media would lead you to believe.
What really gets me is the people who proclaim they’ll never see a movie featuring certain actor or buy an album by that artist because of something that Bill O’Reilly quoted them as saying. What’s next – every album will include a sticker stating their political believes? Movies will replace the PG and R ratings with L and C?
I can’t imagine using politics as the main method for choosing my entertainment. If a song moves me or a movie features great acting and a great story, I could care less about their opinions on President Bush or global warming.
But back to the topic on hand today. Regier and Erickson plan on a full blitzkrieg of negative ads to start as soon as possible, and I shudder at these thoughts. Who really wants a return to “wiggle wiggle”, unflattering photos, and half-truths? Why can’t we have a campaign where the issues are fairly debated on a timely basis? Like maybe the week before the election?


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