The gubernatorial race between Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson and Gov. Rick Perry reached disappointing new lows with some of the name calling that’s been going on for the past few weeks. I haven’t seen this kind of vicious attacking, name-sullying and general contempt between two candidates since … well, the last presidential election.
This calls attention to a tradition of politics that we frankly should have grown out of as a nation — the tradition of taking the other man down with you and hoping that you get in a few more cheap shots just in time for the ballots to be cast.
I had high hopes for this election, too. What sounds better on paper than a seasoned senator taking on the decade-old ruling power of Texas? Even though they are from the same party, it had all the makings of a great Hollywood western. And even if you pretend that both candidates have the true interests of the state at heart, it’s a little disturbing to hear adults referring to each other’s platforms as “AKayOtic” and “Tricky Ricky,” as cited in a Star-Telegram article.
I understand that there is a certain tone one must take in an election. Nothing sticks in the common voter’s minds like a few well-chosen words. Maverick, public health option and the viewing of Russia are the first to come to mind.
But it’s difficult to actually learn something about a candidate’s platform when all you hear is supporter-spouted rhetoric. It would be much better to hear more about how Perry has driven the education of Texas’ youth into the ground or how Hutchinson seems to juggle two separate personas – one favoring reforms for Texas and one as the perfect Washington insider.
I’m just thrilled Kinky Friedman doesn’t actually have enough credibility or brainpower to use the Republicans’ temporary internal warfare against them. An unstable platform is better than no platform at all.
This is a tradition though, and I suppose it will be around as long as one candidate has his foot under the bathroom stall and another is stuffing his pockets with federal money. When it comes down to it, gossip and name calling is a better read than the latest voting record.
And so in the spirit of a healthy and wholesome campaign, let the in-fighting continue. Worst-case scenario, it keeps the newspapers rolling.
Libby Davis is a junior news-editorial and history major from Coppell.