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Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Put down that paper

Slate's Jack Slater is on to something, I think: Don't read the paper this morning, at least the election coverage.

"Save yourself some pain and cash and don't buy the Tuesday newspaper. If you subscribe, do yourself a favor—tear out the first half of the A section and discard it. If you can purge your paper of its editorial section without looking at it, do so, and go directly to the sports section, which unlike the style, metro, and business sections, will make no attempt to talk politics."

I should have followed this advice for the past two months. I care about my home state, my country and the world at large, but have I learned much of anything constructive about political candidates since summer? Not really. What have I learned? Mark Foley has issues, both Bob and Harold are conservative and want you to think the other is not, a non-issue (gay marriage, when state law already defines marriage as between a man and a woman) is commanding attention that would be better focused elsewhere and political parties will do just about anything to keep or acquire power.

I've already early voted, for what it's worth, but I would still like to trade the past several weeks of attack ads and lofty rhetoric for honest, constructive discussion. Here's hoping that, despite the nonsense, we're generally becoming more informed and reasonable as a nation and, hopefully, willing to work together. I doubt anything in today's paper or on the air will confirm this hope, but I can still dream.

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