ROSE NOLEN: Candidates' supporters shouldn't hide their true identity

Tuesday, February 7, 2012 | 6:00 a.m. CST; updated 7:09 p.m. CST, Tuesday, February 7, 2012

When I was growing up I was a part of many kitchen table conversations. In my early years this was how I learned what manner of conduct was expected of one who was brought up in the house of my mother. Still, it wasn't until many years later that I came to appreciate the lessons I learned from that time.

I was born into a large family of storytellers. There was a moral to every story and buried within that nugget would be a word to the wise. Fortunately, I was always able to retain a sizable amount of information.

Nowadays, especially during this election cycle, I think a lot about those kitchen table conversations, and I’ll always be grateful that in my family we had them. It was easy, for example, to learn the importance of thinking before speaking. My oldest sister had the bad habit of not doing that. She was constantly caught up in nightmarish situations created by her having spoken out of turn. I can remember twisting and squirming in my chair as I waited endlessly for her to explain her way out of one debacle or another.

I had an aunt who had a great imagination. In order to make her stories better, she would stretch the facts out as far as they could go. She never seemed to recognize that her exaggerations often made radical changes in the situations she started out relating so that by the end of her tale it was another story altogether. She got caught time and again and it earned her a reputation as a liar.

My brother was a charmer. He never met a woman he didn't like. He worked overtime to make an impression. He collected women like they were buttons or bottle caps and surprisingly they remained loyal for years.

When you are a member of a large family you get a head start in recognizing certain personality types. There's almost always someone in the family you can relate to, who shares the same qualities as someone else.  

Some people are born to be politicians. Others are wannabes. Some are successful and others aren't. Those who do not have expansive personalities do not make good politicians. One who is master of the trade is the type of person who can walk up to anybody, anywhere and hold a conversation. Otherwise, one probably would not make a good politician. A good politician doesn't have to like people, but he has to intuitively respect them.

Of course, there are always some people who manage to pretend to be someone else.  But there is always someone who knows the real person and the individual finds it difficult to wear his mask around the clock. So in the end, they are usually found out, if not by many people, there are always a few.

It's just as well that no one in my family became a politician. Maybe, in the end, it was all those kitchen table conversations that helped them make up their mind on that score. They would probably figure that all those people remember all their bad habits and would be happy to share them with the world at large.

Filling the role of president is quite an ambitious undertaking. It's not like running for any other office or applying for any other job. It's a responsibility like no other. And I don't really think allowing corporations to invest as much money as they want in political campaigns is going to help in any way to clean up the government. I would be very surprised if a majority of Americans are really pleased with all these negative advertisements being spread across television screens. I don't think this adds anything worthwhile to our quality of life.

Allowing individuals to hide their identity behind piles of money is creating a bad situation, which I feel we will ultimately pay for. Providing people with opportunities to demonstrate their lack of character is unappealing.

Would it be possible for the Supreme Court to change its mind?

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Mark Foecking February 7, 2012 | 7:37 a.m.

Politicians have never been generally honest. The fact that presidential campaigns are very expensive, and thus funded in large part by wealth, doesn't change that fact that politicians are pretty much going to tell people what they want to hear in order to get elected. They'd do this even if campaigns were publicly funded.

Every presidential hopeful (including the incumbent) has been regularly caught distorting facts. It's at the point where I don't even listen to any of the debates, or other political speeches. It's all just a dog and pony show, and nothing ever gets done, or changes.

I'm not sure what the Supreme Court has to do with this.


(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro February 7, 2012 | 2:14 p.m.

("But even the president of the United States
sometimes must have to stand naked")
-Bob Dylan

(Report Comment)
Jonathan Hopfenblatt February 7, 2012 | 2:45 p.m.

I agree with Mark for the most part, although the way I see it, it's somewhat unfair to lay it all on the politicians.

Despite the population's constant cries for honesty in Washington, people don't actually want an honest politician; they want someone who agrees with them. And of course, the politicians do what the people expect them to do, and now they have walk around catering to their every whim and pretending that everyone's opinion is equally valid.

Someone who wants honesty accepts the fact that they might not like what they hear, but that's not the case here.

(Report Comment)

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