In addition to my mom being aghast by her hair dresser urging her to, “Keep the White House white,” there’s other signs that this election isn’t about the issues. As I was pumping gas today, some guy came up to me, apparently after seeing my Obama magnet on the car, and starting talking about William Ayers. Since I wasn’t expecting to be barraged with assaults on my politician of choice, I was somewhat caught off guard and thus told him I didn’t want to speak with him.
What I should have said instead is that Obama and Ayers served on the board of a charity organization helping schools. And that Ayers was put there by a Republican who was a close friend of Ronald Reagan. And that Obama was 8 when Ayers was setting his bombs. And that Democrats and Republicans alike have praised Ayers’ more recent work. And that Obama has denounced what Ayers did 40 years ago. Or that Todd Palin was a member of a radical movement wanting to secede from the US, founded by a guy who “once professed his ‘hatred for the American government’ and cursed our ‘damn flag.'” (Or that Sarah Palin, this year, as governor, gave an address to the group.)
But it probably wouldn’t have mattered. I think a lot of people have their minds made up. (And honestly, that Sarah Palin’s husband once belonged to a radical political organization isn’t a big deal for me. Just like the fact that Obama managed a charity with a guy who was a domestic terrorist four decades ago isn’t a big deal.)
What annoys me isn’t just that people are talking about these absurdities instead of the real issues, like our collapsing economy, two ongoing wars, millions of Americans without healthcare, etc. And I’m not even particularly dismayed that people are basing their votes on little talking points instead of the issues. What really gets me is that the truth doesn’t factor in anywhere. Some people are going to cast their votes based on lies and smears they’ve had forwarded to them.