Is the concept that Mr. Smith can go to Washington as extinct as the dinosaur? I am an independent and have been campaigning for Jack Uppal, a Democrat. After eight months of politicking I have to wonder. Jack is highly intelligent, has good, practical ideas and is running because he is sick and tired of the illogical ideological deadlock in Congress. He would use his negotiating skills and experience to bring both sides of the aisle together and find common ground to solve the problems facing the nation. He has made appearances all over this 10 county district and has been well received by Republicans, Independents and Democrats. What he has not received is money and publicity. And that is the root of the problem — because he has raised 1/20th the amount of the money his opponent, Tom McClintock, has available he is regarded by the Sac Bee as not having any traction. They say if a candidate has a visible campaign they would cover it and that seems to be the case with all the large media outlets. If you don’t have the money to spew out the garbage that we are afflicted with on the airways you are not worth covering. Does it serve us for the media to cover the campaign and ignore the candidate?
To the Mountain Democrat’s credit the paper has given Jack some coverage, despite its conservative ideology. Other local newspapers also have given him some coverage but the majority of the voters in this district still don’t know anything about him. McClintock is a wily politician and he won’t debate Uppal — because there is very little pressure for him to do so and he knows that would generate some publicity for Jack. The same can be said for Diane Feinstein and her Republican opponent, Elizabeth Emken. Okay — they have a right to protect themselves but don’t we, as voters, have the right to know who or what we are voting for? Unfortunately what we get is craftily designed spin and wind up with our heads spinning. Personally I would love to see a 60-day limit on campaigning, three nights when the only thing you can see on TV are political discussions with fact checking to expose the BS and the elimination of the billions of dollars wasted on the campaigns. But there is no uproar from us, demanding truth in advertising, demanding open debate and time given to every candidate and proposition. We respond to the negative half-truths blasting from the TV, to the slick mailers and the yucky robo-calls. The Oct. 15 edition of Time magazine had an excellent article about truth in politics and it boils down to this: We believe what we want to believe — no matter what the reality is. Can we really blame the media or the politicians for the level of government we get? I think not. In other words — we have met the enemy — and it is us.