Monday, October 18, 2010

Speaking of authoritarianism

As someone who has run for very local public offices before, I am of the opinion that anyone who wishes to be an elected public servant has an obligation to not only face their oponent(s) but the media as well. As a matter of principle, I simply refuse to vote for any candidate who shirks that obligation. I've more or less held my tongue in recent months as a number of predominantly TP-endorsed candidates for statewide and national offices have done their level best to avoid debates and to avoid questions from journalists (I'm broadly defining that term to include bloggers as well as to those employed by more traditional media outlets). My silence should not be read as complicity, so much as lack of time in the midst of some major changes to my life and career.

Needless to say, I've been underwhelmed by what the TP/GOP has offered as its strategy for gaining power. As a voter, I find it insulting that these candidates would refuse to answer basic questions about their positions (past and present), and whatever questions about them that might potentially be relevant to the voters in their respective states and districts. Yes, opponents might dig up some dirt, and yes, journalists tend to ask a lot of questions - some of which seem pesky and others which seem intrusive. But then again, that comes with the territory. If you are unwilling to handle the heat, you have no business in the spotlight, so to speak. Let's face it: not only can I not trust these individuals to handle themselves in public, but I also find their deciding for the voters what we "need to know" to be highly condescending.

So it goes. Lately, we've seen these same politicians take a more sinister path. Evasion is no longer sufficient. Now, apparently it's acceptable to sic hired thugs on those who dare to ask those inconvenient questions these politicians would prefer not address. Not cool. It does not bode well for what a Joe Miller would do if he were to actually occupy a seat in the Senate.

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