MTYT: Dirty politics

By Gary McNair - bio|email

Political debate and election campaigns sure can get ugly.  Maybe that's why they call it "mud-slinging."

Right now we have Ilario Pantano wanting Mike McIntyre to stop criticizing his former job on Wall Street, and McIntyre wants Pantano to stop tying him to his party's leader, Nancy Pelosi.

You're probably tired of hearing the arguing, fussing and fighting.  People say nasty politics are at an all-time high!  But hey, this is mild compared to what it used to be.

I was in West Virginia in the early 80s when a state senate candidate attacked and slugged a reporter during a news conference when that reporter asked him about his stay in a mental institution.

In 1856, a United States Senator was so severely beaten during a literal "floor fight" that he didn't return to the chamber for three years.

And who can forget Vice President Aaron Burr killing one-time Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton in a legal duel in 1804.

At least things aren't quite as bad as they were in the first half of the nineteenth century.

I try to look for the positive in all this, and one things stands out.  Our country appears to have a history of passionate responses to political issues.  Hopefully we are all better off for it.

That's my turn.  Now it's your turn.  To comment on this segment, or anything else, email me at

Emailed comments from viewers:

Thank you for your correct examination of our current political process as it is truly often as ugly or even uglier than making sausage. Fighting and negative political debates; although present in our history, do not represent the best of the American spirit. The aisle has become a major barrier to progress. I am hopeful that the great American spirit which made this the greatest country in the world, will now turn into a collaborative effort to do the difficult work necessary to positively affect today's reality. We need to bring jobs and exports to this country, through appropriate legislation, whatever it takes. We cannot eat our national debt at a fast food restaurant nor eliminate it by building houses we cannot afford. So why not eliminate our dependence on fossil fuels by developing our own proven reserves, and feed the world, for a fair price, by being the best farmers.... which we are.... in the world. And perhaps we might better fight pollution by manufacturing products in our nation using reasonable, and protective regulations in our own textile mills (for example), instead of exporting all of the work to countries who have NO pollution laws and virtually no labor or civil rights protections. Let's try being passionate about a new great America.


I agree with your views on this subject, Not in anyway do I have issues with any certain ads in perticlular, but I feel paid campaign ads should NOT be aired during local news broadcasts. I think it gives false ideas and the perception that the aired ads are the way people should vote if they want to fix the bad issues that was in the news broadcast that day. I know they are paid ads but they should be aired during regular shows that dont push a news atmosphere.


This political season has broadened my horizons both technologically and physically. I have found the mute button on my TV's remote control and I use it a lot. I'm hoping that this additional exercise will prepare me for the fall out of my chair in case a candidate says something substantive either in print on on TV.

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