Single Issue Politics

Everyone is getting all spun up over Rush Limbaugh’s response to the Michael J. Fox commercial supporting a Democratic candidate. To my mind, this is a little bit like getting spun up over something that Howard Stern says. Limbaugh has positioned himself as a conservative shock commentator. Making brash, rude comments is a fundamental part of his performance. To get spun up over anything he says is to play into his hand. A political commentator’s worst fear is that they will be ignored. Want to get Rush Limbaugh’s goat? Convince people to ignore him.

That still leaves us with the Michael J. Fox commercial. In the end, Limbaugh is only saying out loud what a lot of people are thinking. Michael J. Fox wants Americans to vote for Democrats in the hope that by swinging the House to the Democrats, the block on funding for embryonic stem cell research will be removed. From Michael J. Fox’s view point, this is understandable. Fox believes that the research might provide a cure for the disease that ails him.

Much as I sympathize with Michael J. Fox and others who suffer from Parkinson’s disease, I’m not at all ready to make it the primary focus of my voting strategy. Single Issue Politics is a travesty foisted upon the American public primarily – but not solely – by the Democratic party. Many Republicans are also single issue voters. Pro-Life proponents being the first and most outspoken to come to mind.

This is a complex world we live in. What we need in office are smart, rational, hard working men and women with broad experience who can wrestle with the problems that face our people and our nation. Here California we will be voting on a laundry list of propositions all of which deal with funding of various things within the state. These propositions are being put to the voters because our elected officials either will not or cannot make a decision. They want to absolve themselves of the political responsibility of the decision. Cowards, all of them.

I could not really care less whether Michael J. Fox was under-medicated, over-medicated or putting on an Oscar performance. I like Mr. Fox and I truly hope that a cure is found for Parkinson’s disease. And Alzheimers. And breast cancer which took my mother at the age of 52 one week before my wedding reception which she had planned. And colon cancer. And lung cancer. And heart disease which ails my favorite uncle.

I am not willing to put embryonic stem cell research ahead of all other issues in deciding my vote. I am looking for a person who can convince me that they have the wisdom and the strength to sort through the very difficult issues and make sound choices. Unfortunately, it seems that people like that are in short supply. In one race in my district I have the choice of the incumbent Democrat or a Republican candidate who is apparently doing no campaigning whatsoever. It is impossible to find out anything about him. The worst part about election day is almost always the candidates we have to choose from.


[posted with ecto]

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One thought on “Single Issue Politics

  1. For me, Fox’s commercial isn’t so much about Parkinson’s per se, although I guess that might be his specific point. To me it’s the broader issue of being pro-science and pro-technology. Those who refuse to fund new technologies on the basis of moral objections are not going to get my vote.
    I suppose that you could argue that this is a single-issue, depending on how broadly you want to define “single,” but for me it’s a broad category that speaks to a fundamental disconnect between me (the voter) and them (the candidates). Any candidate that would prevent research into a treatment, for any of the deceases you mentioned, falls into this category in my book.

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