The Rhetoric Is Down

Is it me, or do things seem calmer today than they did before the polls closed Tuesday? Sure the sun is shining and it’s unseasonably warm, but my inner peace is deeper. Maybe all that negative campaigning and hard nosed rhetoric took it’s toll on me (and others) outside the electoral process?

Can you listen to all shouting and name calling without getting ticked off? I don’t mean upset at the specific facts being spouted – just being put into a bad mood.

Is negativity catchy?

I noticed the change when I heard Nancy Pelosi and Howard Dean speak about conciliation. I heard it when President Bush held a press conference and seemed contrite. Two days ago, they all had fangs!

Someone asked the President:

Thank you, Mr. President. With all due respect, Nancy Pelosi has called you incompetent, a liar, the emperor with no clothes, and as recently as yesterday, dangerous. How will you work with someone who has such little respect for your leadership and who is third in line to the presidency?

THE PRESIDENT: Suzanne, I’ve been around politics a long time; I understand when campaigns end, and I know when governing begins. And I am going to work with people of both parties.

Look, people say unfortunate things at times. But if you hold grudges in this line of work, you’re never going to get anything done. And my intention is to get some things done. And as I said, I’m going to start visiting with her on Friday, with the idea of coming together.

He went on to say, “This isn’t — this isn’t my first rodeo.”

I’m sure it isn’t for him or many professional politicians on both sides of the partisan fence. Unfortunately, for us in Connecticut, bombarded by venom from both sides, it was a very new experience which went from zero to “oh my God” in an instant. We’ve never been close to this level of firepower.

I’m not sure ending the commercials is an instant fix. Are we all better, calmer, less hateful, now that the screaming on TV has stopped and Bob’s commercials are back (Bob – I really missed you)? Or, is there now a lower threshold for us? Will we now be more easily provoked?

Are we destined to live under the political equivalent of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder?

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