(HOST) Commentator Bill Seamans has been thinking about politics, dis-information and the democratic process.
(SEAMANS) "Anonymous" is the word of the day as the midterm elections bear down on us next week. Until we mark our ballots on Reality Tuesday we will have groped through such a fog of disinformation that calling a politician a "liar" seems almost like a compliment these days. Our senses have been bombarded not by the edification of civil political discourse but by the savage assault of toxic punditry.
This phantom election that has left we the people in the dark has been hyped by the Supreme Court decision allowing unlimited anonymous campaign spending by corporations and unions. The result has been the assassination of our political morality—that red, white and blue idealism we learned as school kids and have tried to preserve as we matured.
Our campaign dilemma today has been imposed mostly by a very elite cohort of power brokers whose impact was poignantly described by E.J.Dionne in the Washington Post. He wrote: "Imagine an election in a Third World nation where a small number of millionaires and billionaires spent massive sums to push the outcome in their preferred direction. Wouldn’t many people here condescendingly tut-tut over such a country’s ‘poorly developed’ sense of democracy and the inadequacy of its political system?" Those were the words of E.J.Dionne and now if you will pause a moment, isn’t that just what so many of us are thinking about our own country’s campaign scene today – regardless of our personal political sentiments?
An example is the awesome amount of Republican money poured into my little state of New Hampshire to influence the federal elections – $8.6 million, half to the Senate, half to the two House races, according to an outstanding report in the Concord, N.H. Monitor. The largest smear target has been Democrat Paul Hodes’ run for the Senate. The Chamber of Commerce is said to have sent in $1.6 million, Karl Rove’s American Crossroads group tossed in $694,000 and the Republican American Action Network $875,000…
Those organizations legally refuse to reveal their sources. That’s more than $3million dollars to defeat Paul Hodes and send his opponent, Kelly Ayotte, to Washington. Critics ask that if she is elected whose interests would Ayotte favor – those of the people back home or of the anonymous super-rich who bought her Senate seat?
A final thought is our extreme dismay over the elitist insult to our intelligence that the anonymous outsiders have paid for. Just whose election is this, theirs or ours?