© Bill Lemmond (Actually, you're welcome to download and share these web-resolution images, and you probably won't be happy with printing them.)

Pizza from Scratch presents Purple Prose, 'toon 163

27 October, 2008

Some tips that are good for most elections, especially national ones.

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I really did come down with a cold. I wasn't sick of politics. My approach gives me pretty strong defenses. During campaigns, I tend to avoid TV and Radio outlets where the political ads show up. That helps a lot. Those ads are generally worse than useless, presenting only a carefully selected part of what's true, and probably seasoned with things that only a technicality keeps from being outright lies. And they usually hide who's really funding the ads, behind a nice, innocent-looking name.

There are much better sources. I will never forgive NPR for dumping Cal Thomas. They complained he was "too predictable." That just made him easier to program, and program around. That made him their Go-to person, for something they just don't have at all, now. But PBS TV is much more middle-of-the-road. The "Frontine" documentary series showed that even Sadam Hussein thought he had WMD.

So I highly recommend the documentary episode that "Frontline" will do about the two main candidates for president, every four years. It's even-handed and positive. Simply by being positive, it's an antidote to the mud-slinging from the partisan groups. (See also my cartoon about negative politics, generally.)

My other suggestion for last-minute decision-making is from something I did, years ago, for a national election. I started weeks before election day. I walked over to the town public library, back in the days of a paper-bound Reader's Guide to Periodical Literature. I had a notebook in which I wrote the names of articles and their location, by dated issues of magazines. As I collected notes for finding articles, I noticed that simply gathering dozens of articles, I got a surprisingly good picture of the candidates' qualities, just from the titles.

Taken as a group, the article titles painted pictures of the candidates. There were critical articles about both, but the criticism of one candidate was much weaker. I did eventually read a select few (I'm a very slow reader.) article, but I voted for the one who was "praised by faint damns."

As I've said, I'm not affiliated, officially, intellectually or emotionally, with any political party. I'm hoping that if enough voters show they're ignoring all the extremists, and all the weasel words, that the moderate elements in both parties will sense this and push back. I think any democracy is much better served when voters have a tough choice between good candidates, rather than a tough time choosing the lesser evil.