In a last-ditch effort to attract trick-or-treaters to our apartment’s front door, Gwen strung purple lights and fake cobwebs around the railing outside, and wrapped our door with caution tape. I said no one would show up and she looked more sad than I had ever seen. Then she proceeded to tell me that, if no one showed up, it would be my fault for my lack of Halloween energy.
This blame game is something I do all of the time too. A couple weeks ago, in a game that showcased the best of the New York Giants (and the worst of the Dallas Cowboys), Tony Romo made a stupid mistake and gave the Giants the ball somehow. Our dog Shelley jumped onto the couch and annoyed the hell out of me immediately afterward, causing me to shove her out of my way and transfer my anger into a heated “Get off the couch!” yell.
So when I started seeing all the political attack ads starring Candidate X blaming Candidate Y for the bad economy (and for the Gulf oil spill, cancer, stubbed toes, and everything else), I could really relate to the candidates. Yeah, if the situation sucks right now, it’s probably the fault of whoever is in charge. Sure, I can get on board with that.
But… it’s not my fault when trick-or-treaters inevitably fail to show up at our front door. Shelley didn’t cause Romo to choke in every big-game situation. And it’s not always the incumbent’s fault when the country sucks for some reason or another.
It’s fascinating to see how much has changed in under two years. When President Obama was running against Sen. John McCain, Obama’s opponents constantly cited his lack of experience as a reason to NOT vote for him. He’s too young, too inexperienced, wouldn’t be reliable when the big moment came. But now? Stay away from “Washington insiders” and “elitists”! Flee, flee for your lives, for America is under the control of Communists and terrorists! Look out, Delaware, a would-be witch is running for the U.S. Senate!
Who the hell cares? And witches? Really?
I say we create a new political rule: if your main campaign promise is to fix our country’s debt, then you’re not allowed to spend more than $100 million on campaign advertising. If the only way you can get elected is by calling your opponent an “extremist” or “elitist,” while using juxtaposed images of your opponent, then you’re immediately disqualified. The moment you bring race, religion, sex or age into your attack ads, you’re kicked off the ballot. I’m young enough to have only really experienced two elections that I care about, but I’m already growing tired of the messages the national candidates are sending over the airwaves.
When the next one airs on TV, Shelley better hope she doesn’t try to jump in my lap on the couch again.