Tired of Kudzu politics

Published 12:00 am Monday, September 30, 2002

Every year, we are forced to sit through the same old drama, the backstabbing, the innuendos, the outright lies. Name-calling and nasty aspersions fill the air, creating an atmosphere of unease and distaste.

Not, we're not talking about Survivor. We're talking about politics – the eternal dance of power, the public clothesline for everyone's dirty laundry. Every year, the candidates bloom in the spring like daffodils, sunshiny bright and promising a nice, clean campaign based on their own positive attributes, and not their opponents' negative one.

Within weeks, if not days, we are not hearing why Jane Doe is the best candidate - we are hearing why John Smith isn't. We know more about their finances than we do our own, and could probably fill out a loan application for them - until it came to character references.

As summer heats up, so do the accusations.

Some candidates wither away in heat, but some thrive in it.

A brief look at history tells us that it is not always the fittest who survive. The strongest, perhaps, or the richest, but not necessarily the fittest. Kudzu thrives, but isn't exactly the plant you want dominating your garden.

Kudzu, like politics, takes over. It obscures the landscape the way candidate personalities and aspersions obscure issues.

It is time to burn away the weeds and discover the truths that lie beneath - and we don't mean dirty laundry.

We want facts. We want yes and no answers to questions about policies, not politics.

When Riley and Siegelman take the time to play "Did too - Did not" over minor issues, they create a screen, effectively diverting attention away from the big issues - the ones that truly affect Alabama. Whether or not our children will receive adequate education this year is far more important than an actor from California and his endorsement.

It isn't just the gubernatorial candidates at fault. Since the first caveman angling for leadership told the clan that the second caveman made crooked spears, politicians have thrown mud. Unfortunately, thrown mud splatters and we all end up feeling dirty by the time they are through.

Clean it up, candidates, and stick to the issues.