Archive for Friday, November 5, 2010

Linenberger: Say goodbye to noisy, negative political ads

November 5, 2010

Well, that’s finally finished.

And by “that,” I mean negative commercial after negative commercial on television.

The election is one of the most cherished rights we have as Americans, but with it comes the price of campaign advertisement inundation.

I know it’s part of politics, but it seems oftentimes recently many people are talking, but no one really is having a conversation. That’s not to say that this is a new concept, or that people shouldn’t have strong opinions.

That being said, I watched tidbits of Saturday’s Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear, the work of Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert.

The underlying theme: People of varying opinions can in fact coexist. You can disagree with someone, but you can do so in a respectful manner.

Sure, that’s easier said than done, but it needs to happen.

As Stewart said at the rally, “If we amplify everything, we hear nothing.”

He used a metaphor of congested traffic being reduced to fewer lanes. A driver let’s another vehicle in front of them, and then that driver takes a turn joining the reduced lanes. And back and forth. The drivers of those vehicles likely have varying opinions and beliefs, but it matters not when it comes to traffic — even if this person has an Obama/Biden sticker or that person has a Palin in 2012 sticker (or, yes, even a Missouri Tiger license plate).

This column was written ahead of Tuesday’s election. It’s possible there will be considerable changes in the political landscape nationally.

The people’s voices are heard through their votes, but again, there’s a difference between speaking and yelling.

Don’t get me wrong, everyone is entitled to voice their opinions, and stand firm in those beliefs. But a little civil discourse can go a long way.

•••

It’s fitting that another national event takes place in such close proximity to Election Day. Veterans Day will be Nov. 11 and Leavenworth once again will have its annual parade.

The freedoms Americans have, one of which being voting in elections, wouldn’t be possible without the continued service of the military. Thursday’s parade is a great way to show our veterans and those currently serving of our appreciation for their service.

•••

A great statistic from Friday night’s Spooktacular event I would have loved to calculate: How many pounds of candy were handed out downtown on Fourth Street? I know The Mirror went through several bags as youths visited the elementary school, various businesses and the fire department for a centralized trick-or-treating experience.

I certainly look forward to another Spooktacular next year, as it’s a treat seeing the array of costumes.

Other downtown events coming up: Thursday’s First Thursdays event in the 600 block of Fourth Street. Performing this month are the Tonganoxie High School cheerleaders and local band Cathy Hunt and the Jump House Band.

And from 2:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m. Nov. 20, an old-fashioned Christmas is planned for downtown with the Mayor’s Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony, a scavenger hunt, elf costume contest and a visit from Santa Claus.

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