We need some mercy to stop this onslaught

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How about a little relief from the presidential season?

By Steve Doyle

Would someone please enact a “mercy rule” for this presidential election game?

I suggest this not because one candidate is leading by an insurmountable margin, which is the basis for stopping play before the game is complete in kids’ sports, but because we the great unwashed need some mercy from the divisive, incessant, pandering, slobbering, groveling and occasionally just downright dishonest activities going on between the two parties. Did I use the word “occasionally”? That would be dishonest of me for its restrictive nature. There is a lot of dishonesty in every inning of the political game.

But this has reached the stratosphere of absurdity, and that’s one point all of us can concede, with unanimity and bipartisan backing. This election season has gone far beyond our expectations for ridiculousness, and we must stop it.

Mercy, please, Lord, mercy.

We know the candidates. We know the issues. We know what’s at stake.

Let’s just go ahead and vote. Why wait until November? Why have political conventions, which just gets everyone even more frothed and vicious and venomous in their vitriol? Why have campaigning for another three months?

Why, why, why?

Nothing is going to change. You know for whom you are going to vote. You know why. The 15 or 20 of us who are undecided won’t decide until we get into the voting booth anyway, and waiting another 76 days to do that won’t make any difference.

Heck, if we go ahead and vote, it could save you money, because between now and Nov. 6 you can bet you will receive at least 872 phone calls/E-mails/snail mail/extended-hand requests for money. Some of you will donate just to stop the onslaught, but please note that giving only makes that onslaught more relentless.

Reducing this walk-up/talk-up until Election Day would eliminate that temptation, reduce your guilt and provide more money to spend in an effort to boost the economy. Nothing you donate to a campaign will help the economy long-term, I assure you. Greed controls that.

And if we were to shorten the election window, you likely will save friends, too. Friends don’t let friends post about politics on Facebook. Haven’t you already been inflamed by something you read there? Haven’t you questioned someone you know and love about his/her sanity? Some of you maybe have “unfriended” someone for a political view, right? By the time these words are circulated, I’ll have fewer friends than the candidates.

You see it every day, and aren’t you sick of it all? Aren’t you tired of the commercials from people not even associated with the campaigns? Aren’t you tired of shrill voices and hyperbolic examples and the billions and billions of arguments about the trillions and trillions of government dollars?

You and I both know that it doesn’t matter who wins the election anyway. Nothing will change. Only the voices, the words and the positions in the promises change. The outcome never will.

That’s because one side or the other isn’t for change. That’s because Americans who are elected to office cease to be Americans and become political pawns and fawns. That’s because we as Americans don’t do or even accept what is right because we want someone different to think up a new idea that sounds good and chase that bubble.

Think of the smartest person you know, the person you respect the most. Do you think that person could do what is right for Americans? Do you think that person knows how to reduce spending, balance the tax base, defend the nation and help those who truly need help?

I would answer “no” to all.

Do you think Barack Obama or Mitt Romney is smarter than that person?

I would answer “no” to both.

And I type that because I think that almost anyone of learned intelligence who lives in the real world is smarter than anyone who operates in the political world. The political world is the be-all for the elected and end-all for the electorate.

It is the worst aspect of our society, and, I fear, only Armageddon will repair it. Nothing good comes from politics, and no matter how wonderful the candidate we choose, politics becomes the job.

One of our senators, Mitch McConnell, often has admitted as much. Ever since Obama was elected in 2008, Senator McConnell has made it his life’s mission to see that he wouldn’t be re-elected in 2012. Is that a senator’s job? Is that why we sent him to Washington? Is that leadership?

You have to answer that for yourself, but in my opinion, that is not the job description I had in mind when McConnell was given another term. Representing party politics is not representing Kentuckians. It’s representing his best interests, not ours. And the problem is there are thousands of others elected at every level of government who appear to embrace that position as well.

And that sort of politicking will be our world until mid-fall. You will hear the rhetoric, read the messages and follow the chatter. You won’t be able to watch a parade, a big football game or probably Letterman and Leno without seeing it. You may go to a rally, tune in to a debate and continue to argue with friends and loved ones.

But these next weeks won’t change a single thing about what will happen. The voters who care will vote, and those voters know how they will vote.

Let’s get this over with, please.

Lord, grant us mercy.

Or bring on Armageddon.