Nation divided:
This election has been the worst, leaving two hateful camps

The brutishness of this midterm election has offended virtually every voter and left many with a troubling question: Are we really one nation any more?

As I write this column Election Day morning, nervous about election thievery and disinformation campaigns, with no feel for what the day's results will bring, I sense something has happened to me this election. It's called being finally fed up.

I will never again give any candidate the benefit of the doubt who wins by running a smear campaign based on scare tactics, bald-faced lies, grotesque photographs of their opponents and the other noxious weapons in the arsenal of PR flacks and the politics of hate they manufacture.

I've been writing about politics in New Mexico since l971. I have never seen a dirtier, more disgusting, less informative election season than this one. It's truly shameful. And it has left the nation more divided than ever before.

People in opposing camps personally loathe each other. It's as if America has been split into two warring ant colonies, swarming and poisoning each other with everything they've got. I'm trying real hard to avoid those ant hills, but after the last couple of months, it's almost impossible.

Politically, the nation is being divided up into friends and enemies. Do anything for your friends, and do anything to your enemies, no matter how deceitful or vile. It's about politics as war, not politics as negotiation for the common good.

How else can you explain the Republican-controlled Congress supporting a defense appropriation bill that has secreted away, in 440-some pages, the termination of the Office of Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction? That office keeps tabs on major Republican corporate contributors in Iraq and has found appalling malfeasance, including the disappearance of thousands of American weapons, according to the New York Times.

That's just a blatant taking care of your friends and thumbing your nose at the rest of the country.

Friends-and-enemies politics, joined with an airy elitism, has gained considerable ideological traction within the ruling class of the Republican Party, which believes that only a rarefied few are fit to rule a country and tell noble lies to rule the hapless masses. Such thinking creates political animosities that run dangerously and stagnantly deep.

After the bitter and dirty election of l800, President Thomas Jefferson in his inaugural address tried to heal the divisions afflicting his country: "Let us, then, fellow citizens, unite with one heart and one mind. Let us restore to social intercourse that harmony and affection without which liberty and even life itself are but dreary things."

Jefferson continued, saying, "We have yet gained little if we countenance a political intolerance as despotic, as wicked . . . as (religious) persecutions."

V.B. Price is an Albuquerque free-lance writer, author, editor and commentator.
November 11, 2006