Clearly, there are those who believe that money will influence voters
and win the election.
I am not so sure.
Past elections have surprised us and showed that voters have minds of
their own and vote their conscience based on experience and deeply held
convictions and beliefs. That will not change and voters cannot be
This weekend, eight days before the elections, I was with the crew of
Pit Stop 3 at the side of a road between Santa Barbara and L.A. handing
out drinks and fruit to thousands of walkers in the three-day march
against breast cancer. I was happy doing something useful, worthwhile and
away from the next to last weekend of what is expected to be the most
intense assault on voters.
For weeks, I have been the recipient of a well-orchestrated, highly
financed and unrelenting political campaign. Aside from personal attacks
from extremists who do not believe in freedom and democracy, I have been
the recipient of hundreds of unsolicited, slick, colorful and attractive
political mailings from and on behalf of candidates. Most contained
promises, positions on issues, accusations, and statements attacking
opponents. Interestingly, aside from mailings by major candidates, I
received mailings from groups I never knew existed. It's rather subtle
and funny to receive unsolicited private mail from special interest
groups and organizations.
And then there were the political television commercials that invaded
the family room at all times of the day or night. Many aimed to show
candidates as nice people who are caring and passionate about serving
others. They showed candidates strolling in a beautiful garden, chatting
with children in a classroom, or talking to senior citizens in a rest
home. And much to my surprise, others showed the dark side of candidates
who attacked, slashed and burned their opponents. One could sense the
strain on candidates who hid behind strong words, a slight wave of a
hand, a fake grin, or a deceptively innocent look. It is clever how
image makers project a candidate to appear all things to all people
including being compassionate and ruthless at the same time.