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It’s becoming more difficult to keep politics and controversy out of my personal message, but I think I can say what is on my mind this month and stick to my guns (no pun intended).

I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of the political campaign, even before the real fireworks are scheduled to begin. It has nothing to do with how I think I will vote in the primary election in June or the presidential election in November. I have never missed a national or statewide election since I became eligible to vote and cast my first ballot for JFK. I don’t think I ever missed a primary either, even when there was no contest in the party of my registration.

This year, it’s really different. Regardless of which primary you are voting in, it used to be that you voted for the candidate you liked. This year, a lot of Republicans are voting for "ABT" (anyone but Trump). Democrats have a choice between a candidate many say they do not trust but nevertheless has garnered many more votes so far than anyone else in either party, and an avowed Socialist who just became a Democrat. But that’s not what bugs me.

I’m sorry to say that I watched some or all of most of the debates - - for both parties - - each time thinking/hoping there would be something new. Here’s what I don’t understand. There has been a viciousness among the Republicans the likes of which we have not seen during my lifetime. Yet, when asked whether they would support the Republican nominee, whoever it was, all of the candidates said they would. They say you’ve got to have thick skin to be a politician, but does that mean you have to lose your self-respect?

Not to be outdone, although the Democrats began by being more civil, both candidates have now stooped to distorting of each other’s voting records and the sources of their support.

How many times have two candidates, who agree on a particular issue, attacked each other over some insignificant piece of misinformation? And each accuses the other of lying! The worst part of it is that the accuser knows he or she is distorting the facts and doesn’t care. All too often the repartee sounds like this: "Your father’s mustache!" "Oh yeh? Your mother wears army shoes!" "Well, the, your grandmother’s bloomers!" If you are old enough, you may remember those expressions when we would trade insults in the schoolyard.

The Republican debates have been marked by too many candidates, too little substance and multiple unkeepable promises to repeal laws on "my first day in office." The Democrats have too few candidates, plenty of substance but a lot of pie in the sky.

Let me not forget the media. I have had it with the "gotchas" and the questions calculated to provoke rather than to elicit real opinions on real issues. Most of all, however, my beef is with the moderators who allow candidates to get away with non-answers or canned statements that beg the question.

You may ask how I would make the process better. My first thought is to say the campaign is too long. Don’t permit the farce to begin until much later. That would, however, intrude on free speech. If it is okay to donate millions of dollars to Super-Pacs under he guise of free speech, how can you curtail someone from standing on a soap box to state his or her point of view. I’m afraid the only solution is to go for a walk when the debates are on the air, listen to music or read a good book.


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