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Tom Gerdy Headshot

Much Worse Than Bitter!

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Bitter is just the beginning! Spiteful! Outrageous! Angry! Hostile! Antagonistic! Immature! Irrational! Childlike! Just so I make myself clear, these words aren't referring to the small town blue collar workers in Pennsylvania. This isn't about Bible-toting, gun-packing Americans. This isn't about white collar elitists or middle class workers. This isn't about the people still out in the trenches trying to change America and the world. These words are words that describe many of the players currently surrounding our political system. As a small town blue collar worker in Virginia, 'Bitter-Gate' has really pushed me over the edge. I wasn't pushed over the edge by Obama's comments. I finally lost it because of the now too-predictable direction that campaign personnel, the media, and the blog world has run with his words.

As I try to educate myself about the possibility of adjusting the direction of our country, I am saddened by what I read. The public is bombarded with trivial information, half truths, twisted words, name calling and personal attacks directed at political parties and candidates. After the candidates, the parties and the media toss the trash a bit, the blog world then tries to see how much life they can give this garbage. People writing for blog sites and those who comment on blogs add angry insults, schoolyard bully-like attacks and a great deal of misinformation to the mix. Somehow the truth and issues get lost in the smoke and mirrors.

There was a time when issues took a back seat to personalities and party lines. The current reality is that the issues are no longer even in the back seat. I am not even sure if the issues are in the trailer that is being towed behind. Issues are no longer presented without bashing an opponent or opposing party. I find very little that gives me hope that we are ready to join together to face our challenges. I see out of control egos, out of control campaign spending and anger from top to bottom that is terribly misdirected.

Is it silly of me to think that we could ask the candidates to talk only about issues and the solutions to the challenges we are facing? Let's try it for the next 30 days. If a candidate tries to attack another candidate or lets an ego get in the way instead of talking about solutions, we will give him or her a 'time out.' The 'time out' would mean they couldn't speak in public for 24 hours. Wouldn't that be fun to watch? It might be a quiet month, but it's worth a shot. We might actually get to hear some ideas without a twist or an attack.

I have always liked the quote "When all is said and done, more is said than done." I am not sure who first strung those eleven words together but never have they rung so loud and true as they have during this campaign. Our country has some serious challenges and it is time to get serious about them. Trash talk is easy but we need solutions and solutions are found in action. So if we are going to fight let's fight to make our country strong again. Let's fight for unification and participation. If we can achieve that the rest will take care of itself.