With Election Day upon us here in Orange County, I think I speak for all of us when I say to each of this year’s candidates:
Good Lord, people! Why you got to be so nice?
I mean, seriously, guys. You are making my job impossible. As a journalist, I belong to a large and long-established coterie of highly-trained professionals who spend each and every waking moment tirelessly documenting every gaffe, every verbal slapfight, every well-rehearsed zinger that passes a politician’s lips. My livelihood depends on my ability to document those moments when candidates and Council members interrupt each other, wag their fingers, raise their voices and refuse to cede the floor. I’m racked with despair if I can’t rush on the air with allegations of scandal or vague hints of borderline misconduct bolstered by a ten-second sound bite of shocked chagrin from the leader of the opposition.
I need red meat, you guys. And it’s your job to give it to me.
But instead, what do I get?
I get people who like each other.
Twenty-four candidates in this race, twenty-four, and not a single cutthroat in the lot. I’m seeing Facebook pictures of George Cianciolo and Loren Hintz, candidates who ought to be out digging through each other’s garbage, instead standing together, in public no less, laughing about some shared joke and calmly discussing serious issues as if they were the best friends in the world. Bah! I’m hearing Andrew Davidson, asked why he’s the best school board candidate in the race, responding “I don’t think I am the best candidate. I think Michelle Brownstein is the best candidate.” What?! HUMBUG!
Have you people learned nothing from Washington? From Raleigh?
That’s how politics is done, folks.
God, it’s like you’re watching Congress and the NCGA and then deliberately doing the opposite.
And I for one have had it.
So here’s my challenge to you. We’ve got one day left to salvage this. One day left to have a real, hard-fought, knock-down, drag-out, yelling-screaming, accusation-hurling, life-ruining, campaign-finance-law-breaking election. Like our Founding Fathers intended.
Happy nicey-nice time is over.
So. First things first. I want to see you fight. No more of this “oh, I totally agree” or “that’s a very good point” or “I want to piggyback on what Sammy just said, because I think it’s really important.” Twaddle! These people are your enemies. They must be opposed, blocked, and thwarted at every turn. You work with them? You serve on boards with them? You like them? Forget that. You hate them. They are evil. Whatever comes out of their mouths, you disagree with it. And act shocked that they’d even think such a thing. Even if it was your idea in the first place. You don’t hear Mitt Romney or the Heritage Foundation running around going “I want to piggyback on Obamacare,” do you? Ha!
Repeat after me:
“My opponent is completely out of touch with Chapel Hill.”
“Sounds like she wants to turn us into Cary.”
“That’s exactly the kind of thinking that brought all the flooding in the first place.”
“Man, if I were the CEO of Walmart, I’d sure be out campaigning for my opponent!”
This would have been a much better forum with at least one angrily overturned chair.
Next. I want attack ads. Enough of this take-the-high-road crap. I don’t want to be able to turn on my TV or open up my Web browser without hearing how some candidate’s going to let the terrorists win.
And zingers. Real good zingers.
“Weaver? More like WAFFLER!”
“When it comes to Chapel Hill, Sally’s a bit too GREENE.”
“Running for Council? Cianci-OH NO!”
Honestly, people, this is not that hard.
So there you have it. We’ve got less than a day to turn this thing around. I’m counting on you. And so are all those good, patriotic Americans out there who won’t vote unless they have a terrible, inane, stupid reason for doing so.
Make it happen, people. You’ve been doing us proud for months now. Enough of that. Take a page from DC. Take a page from Raleigh.
It’s Election Day.
Do us ashamed.