Fort Mill Times

Gallimaufry - March 19, 2008

Jeff Shrewsbury is a freelance writer living in Fort Mill. You can see an archive of his other opinion columns for the Times at his blog http://jshrewsbury.blogspot.com or you can contact him at gallimaufry@comporium.net.
Jeff Shrewsbury is a freelance writer living in Fort Mill. You can see an archive of his other opinion columns for the Times at his blog http://jshrewsbury.blogspot.com or you can contact him at gallimaufry@comporium.net.

When asked by reporter Steve Kroft on "60 Minutes" earlier this month about the malicious e-mail campaign that continues to circulate that claims Barack Obama is secretly hiding that he is a Muslim, Hillary Clinton could have said a lot of things.

She could have said a flat out, "no." She could have said, "that is absurd." She could have laughed and said, "Absolutely not - that is ridiculous, but so what if he is a Muslim?"

What she chose to say, however, was simply disgraceful. When asked directly if she believed that Obama was a Muslim, Hillary Clinton said, "...there's nothing to base that on (pause), as far as I know."

Then just this past week, John McCain took a page straight from the Bush campaign manual and told reporters he was sure Al Qaida would try to attack the U.S. soon in order to "hurt his campaign and tip the election," thus implying that a vote for his opponent would be as good as a vote for terrorism.

These sad and disturbing incidents are worth noting because we haven't even gotten to the four-day infomercials we call the nominating conventions, and yet, already another presidential campaign season has descended into the muck.

As I get older and watch more campaigns unfold, it's becoming more and more clear to me that some people will truly say just about anything to get elected, and It makes me fear that if they'll say anything to get elected, just what will they do to get elected?

And worst yet, it makes me wonder if this country can ever really be as good as so many of us think it can be; And way too many of us pretend it is, as long as we keep putting up with the kind of reprobates who run for office. This is just pathetic behavior from people who call themselves leaders, and unfortunately, it seems to be the norm these days.

There are no saints in public life, to be sure, but the contempt these people show for the voters is staggering sometimes. Their belief that most voters are so weak-minded and simple that we can be influenced by such obvious pandering is insulting.

For people who say they love America and are running for office in order to help people, they surely don't like Americans very much. And at the very least, they certainly do have a low opinion of us.

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