On The Bricks

November 13, 2020

          My personal Facebook has had everyone who is politically charged to preach their version of political rights and wrongs on “hide.” The other morning there were not many new posts on my page. It seems I have very opinionated friends, but certainly not with the same opinion.

          American politicians have always had dirty tricks. And Americans seem to fall for them. And then act surprised when they find out they have fallen for some politician’s lies.

          This months Oklahoma Humanities magazine had an interesting article about some of those nasty choices made in politics in the past.

          “In the 2000 Republican presidential primary, then – Governor George Bush of Texas was running against Senator John McCain of Arizona. McCain won the New Hampshire primary, and the race went to South Carolina where the Bush campaign knew they had to stop McCain. Using a tried and true strategy, the phony poll, opponents of McCain spread a complete falsehood. Phone calls to South Carolina Republican voters asked, “Would you be more or less likely to vote for John McCain … if you knew he had fathered an illegitimate black child?”

          “McCain and his wife Cindy had adopted a dark – skinned girl from Bangladesh in 1991 and that child, Bridget, was campaigning with them in South Carolina.

          “Confronted with attacks on their wives and children, candidates have a hard time defending themselves. McCain was distraught at this attack and his efforts to fight back only made his situation worse. He lost the South Carolina primary and the nomination.

          “McCain’s emotional reaction to an attack on his family was not unusual. In 1972, Senator Edmund Muskie was the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination to run against President Richard Nixon. While campaigning in New Hampshire, the editor of the all – important Manchester Union Leader received a letter from a New Hampshire citizen accusing Muskie of using the word “Canuck,” a derogatory term for French Canadians – a significant part of the New Hampshire electorate.

          “Muskie never did any such thing. The letter was later discovered to have been written by a White House aide to President Nixon, Kenneth Clawson. At the same time, the editor of the Manchester Union Leader insulted Muskie’s wife, calling her unladylike for drinking too much and telling jokes.

          “Muskie gave a press conference where he was furious and appeared to cry. Whether there were tears or a melted snowflake on his face, the damage was done. Muskie won New Hampshire, but by a much smaller percentage than was anticipated. The narrow victory devastated his candidacy, and he lost the Democratic nomination to George McGovern, who turned out to be the weak nominee Nixon preferred.”

          Such instances go on and on and have had devastating results for some candidates. Senator John Kerry served in Vietnam and was awarded a Purple Heart, a Bronze Star, and a Silver Star. In 2004, a campaign to sow doubt about Kerry’s war record began. The Navy conducted a review and found all medals were properly awarded, but the damage had been done. The big lie must sow doubt, and the closer the race, the more impact it can have.

          Be careful of the many lies being thrown at the public, from all parties, and try to not get involved in the foray.

          I know that personally, I hate when anyone demands I believe the same as they or the trash they are spewing. We should all be more honest, have more integrity, and think more independently.

          If not, then the saying, “I’m sorry I slapped you. You didn’t seem like you would ever stop talking (posting?) and I panicked” could come true. No, that wouldn’t be nice.

          And what new is happening in Guymon recently? Seems most of the events are being cancelled because of COVID again. It will be a good day when COVID retreats into the background. Then maybe we will start getting busy again and won’t have time to make fools of ourselves on Facebook. I hope it happens soon because I’m too old to look graceful as a fool.

          Stay healthy! See you on the bricks!