Huffpost Politics
The Blog

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Dr. Jeffrey H. Toney Headshot

Political Debates: Took What I Hated and Made It a Part of Me

Posted: Updated:

I would like to applaud Chris Matthews for his interview tonight (October 18) of Kentucky Democratic Senate candidate Jack Conway at the University of Louisville. Of all the allegations of "left wing"-biased media, this interview reminded me of one of the many reasons why I eschew politics, and why I value balanced news coverage so much, whether by shows such as Chris Matthews or the Lehrer NewsHour. Regardless of beliefs and affiliation, each party will consider using any approach, with little regard to morals or ethics, to attack their opponent. MSNBC correspondent Matthews challenged this Democratic candidate with nary a "soft ball" question. He challenged Democratic candidate Conway for his recent attack ad on activities Republican challenger Rand Paul had pursued as a college student.

Where do you draw the line in personal attacks of politicians? Are they allowed freedom to explore as college students? Allowed freedom of religion? Mr. Matthews asks Mr. Conway: "Is it wrong for a candidate not to believe in Christianity?"

There is a price to pay, expressed by Linkin Park better than I could describe. In their zeal to become elected, candidates risk this:

"But didn't realize instead of setting it free I
Took what I hated and made it a part of me."

Public service is a lofty ambition; tread carefully, dear candidates!

Linkin Park, "Figure.09"

Nothing ever stops all these thoughts and the pain attached to them
Sometimes I wonder why this is happening
It's like nothing I can do would distract me when
I think of how I shot myself in the back again
'Cause from the infinite words I could say I
Put all pain you gave to me on display
But didn't realize instead of setting it free I
Took what I hated and made it a part of me

(Never goes away)
(Never goes away)