America’s standards falling

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By Stephanie Vacchio

For those of you who have lived through the ‘golden days’ of politics or have the fortune of studying the world of political science, you can recall a time when politics was a club with high membership costs. You were either in or out. You had it or you didn’t. And if you didn’t make the cut, people knew it.

The image of political happenings held in smoky rooms with bosses conducting serious business has morphed over the years. That same image changed in the 1960’s to a gilded kingdom called Camelot in which the Kennedys were the sole key holders to the castle. The realm of politics was a club in which only the best, brightest, and the most promising were members. Nowadays, it seems as though they will give just about anyone a membership card.

A perfect example: Christine O’ Donnell. Before you accuse me of playing party politics, just think for a second. O’Donnell should be looked at independently of whatever side of the political spectrum she identifies with. I am the first to admit that while Republicans may have their fair share of crazy candidates, the Democrats have enough convicted politicians to fill up a county jail. Lapse in good judgment happens to the best of us. But a lapse in good judgment when it comes to deciding whether or not you are actually qualified to run is another story.

O’Donnell’s own party has admitted that she is not a qualified candidate. But why doesn’t she see this? Just this past week during a debate she asked her Democratic opponent for Delaware’s Senate seat Chris Coons to show her where “separation of church and state” existed in the first amendment. Hey Christine, I learned that in the third grade. Were you absent on that day?

O’Donnell’s campaign ads are another story completely. My favorite? Her one-liners that she thinks are memorable in a good way, which include “I am not a witch” and “I am you.”  Firstly, if you were ‘me’ you’d know what the first amendment reads and you also would never “dabble” in witchcraft because that’s just so passé. Nonetheless, O’Donnell is a stand up goldmine; she is the political gift that just keeps on giving to late night comics. But come November, who will have the last laugh?

O’Donnell is not me, but she is like plenty of the Delaware residents who have been suffering from the recession. She has had issues paying her taxes and holding on to her home these past few years. So yes, she is not an affluent establishment candidate, but here is a little secret: there is no direct link between performance in office and social class. Just because you are rich doesn’t mean you will do a bad job because you don’t know what it is like to struggle. And just because you are not living the good life doesn’t mean you will automatically get elected, come into office like a gangbuster, and get the job done.

But many residents trust O’Donnell to do the “right thing” with their tax dollars. And I respect that. But how can she do the “right thing” when she doesn’t even know the first thing about our government? Despite what I might think, there is still a chance she could be brushing shoulders with the political elite come November due to support from major players such as Karl Rove. And then in that case, O’Donnell will have the last witch-like cackling laugh all the way to the Senate chamber. Wonder if Rove has seen the victory parade in his crystal ball yet…

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