...irrespective of what country you are in. This profound realization dawned on me over the course of the last 2-3 weeks as I followed the initial stages of US Presidential election process.
You start to follow elections in India a few months before the general election when the parties and their leaders start spinning the same old spiel of what they would do for the poor and the downtrodden and what they would accomplish if they are elected. Not once do they talk about what they accomplished so far.....no way...that is never talked about! What follows during campaigning is shameless mudslinging on the opponent and trying to take him/her down by hook or by crook(almost always by crook). If that doesn't work and it seems like the opponent is still getting votes then starts the ugly process of tampering with the ballot or keeping people from voting. Thus all in all, Indian elections, almost always turn out to be a mockery of the democratic process of the largest democracy in the world.
I call myself a die hard fan of politics and I am put off entirely by what goes on there. Cut to the US and at the beginning of this year I was excited because presidential elections were just beginning and the candidates had started debating each other as to what they would bring to the US if elected President. I was hoping for a contest where each candidate stresses their contributions so far and their promises and showing how different they are from others. I expected it to be a civil and just process, after all this was in a country that is the leader of the polished western world. After all, I was in the country that prides itself on its democratic process(some call it a 2-party dictatorship but thats another post altogether)! But my hopes were to be quashed mercilessly when I started hearing one candidates surrogates whispering bad stuff about other candidates and vice versa. Then it blew from whispers to open mudslinging so much that now there seem to be tense relations between 2 candidates of the 'same' party over....race! C'mon, I thought at least the US had moved away from racial intolerance and were on the verge of probably electing their first black president and there were still whispers about race? Then I started doing some research(wiki-search) about US elections and found this kind of mudslinging isn't new at all! Called the 'politics of personal destruction', tactics of spreading bad stuff about an opponent's personal life so much that people would be scared or put off by him/her has been used very successfully by GWB(who else) in the past. I also now hear political analysts talking about this on TV saying this is bad but almost always works. SO are the people so foolish and narrow minded that they would not do any fact-checking of their own? After all isn't this the internet age when getting information is so easy?
They say it would go on and this kind of politics would never die...always getting results for the people who use them......there goes my romance with politics!
4 years ago