I have watched politics for years and when I heard these two would not stand face to face in a public debate, I knew we were going to see a dirty campaign.
People will say awful things about you behind your back, but they suddenly get very polite and honest when you stand face to face.
Businessmen know the drill, politicians and newspapermen also realize people will whisper anything to tickle the ear of their listener. Public facts and figures are closely checked by the media and voters in this country.
The Republican Primary in Mississippi this year has left scars on conservative politics that may never heal.
I don’t know about you, but I’m glad that campaign is over.
Politics has changed
I used to work at the newspaper in West Point and Sam Y. Wilhite, former President and Chairman of the Board of the Columbus and Greenville Railroad, used to come sit in my office.
This old codger helped get numerous governor’s and lesser politicians elected.
He told of some of the tricks he pulled in the 1960s and ’70s.
“But after election night we all got together at a local bar and talked about what we wanted to see happen in the next four year,” said Wilhite. “The losers cried in their drinks and begged the victor to see the merits of their pet projects.
“There was a genuine concern to build consensus and do what was best for everyone,” he explained. “They worked together, at least until the next election.”
Politics, like a happy marriage, is the art of compromise.
Sadly, both the definition of marriage and party politics has changed dramatically over the past 40 years.
It’s hang the guy on the left and crucify the guy on the right 24-7 and every hour on the hour in today’s news cycle.
The far right and the far left have turned their causes into some kind of perverted religion and they will not dare look for middle ground, common causes and similar goals.
Democrat or Republican
People ask me all the time if I’m a Democrat or a Republican. I look them dead in the eye and tell them I’m Southern Baptist.
My parents voted both side of the aisle. I was raised to vote for the man and not the machine.
I am looking for a politician who will stand in the gap and defend for those values I hold dear. I am also looking for one who can be effective.
And while I have looked far and wide I have to be honest and say I have been unable to find one in more years than I like to remember.
So now we head to the General Election where elephants and donkeys collide.
It is no secret that many around here supported Democrat Travis Childers in his 2008 race for congress. A quick internet search will show you the names and the amount of those donations. There is not a doubt in my mind this same bunch will support him again.
I will not guess the outcome of the Thad Cochran/Chris McDaniels race. If it’s anywhere close, the GOP has reason for concern in November.
But covering elections, the candidates and the real issue are what newspapers do best.
Playing party politics hurts my country and my state. Let’s look for a candidate who realizes this is not a game.
Floyd Ingram is Managing Editor/News for the Chickasaw Journal. He can be reached at 456-3771 or via email at email@example.com