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NAX: Suddenly, sounds of silence soothe the surroundings - Odessa American: Ken Brodnax

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NAX: Suddenly, sounds of silence soothe the surroundings

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Posted: Wednesday, November 3, 2010 12:00 am

What’s that sound? Oh yeah, it’s just business as usual — on television, on the radio and in public events. It’s not exactly silence, because we’ll be listening to the analysts overhyping all that went on for the past few months for the next few weeks. But at least that beats what we’ve had to deal with recently.

In other words, the political advertisements with all their furor, misrepresentation and gimmicks are gone. The name-calling and finger-pointing is over.

In the midst of all the noise, lots of voters feel insulted. They have the distinct feeling that they’re being offended by all the low-ball techniques designed to appeal to some potential voters.

Let’s face it, people who at least pay attention to some political developments and have an idea what’s happening generally have a notion  to go to the polls and be a part of the process. So they feel some duty to keep up with the latest developments.

Unfortunately, most down-the-stretch political rhetoric is aimed at reaching those who otherwise wouldn’t be casting ballots. So the language and message needs to be loud and attention-grabbing. That’s right, you tend to cast your opponent in a downright messy manner and do it in such a manner that you are performing some necessary function — as in saving the public from disaster.

Now not all the messages fit this category. It must be pointed out that some candidates, as well as those who show up on various sides of other ballot proposals such as bond issues and initiatives, feel the need to inform in correct and fair terms. Alas, such informative appeals just tend to get lost because they’re sandwiched between all those other atrocities.

We tend to use this return to sanity and normalcy as a time when ways are discussed to somehow discourage and maybe even ban the negativity that always becomes a part of the process.

And, of course, a week or two passes, and we’re all enjoying the return to mattress ads and appeals to sell hygiene product (that we can mostly ignore) so that we forget just how intrusive politics can become.

And yet, we realize that political upheaval isn’t going away just because the elections are done. Those who want to be furious forever because of the way the world is leaning have plenty of outlets to get their fix.

Yes, pot-stirrers to both extremes still will be on the air getting the emotions of believers boiling.

But at least that noise can be found in the usual and generally obscure places. It won’t be on your 6 and 10 newscasts. It won’t be during the breaks of NCIS or CSI. You won’t have to share it with your favorite college football team at halftime.

Also, there’s a good chance the pols won’t be grabbing attention at the sporting events by throwing out the first pitch (for sure, now that baseball is done) or flipping coins at football games.

Maybe this is a time when we can reflect and maybe even agree that candidates would be a lot better and more appealing if they could summon a good deal more dignity than they tend to show during the campaign process.

But we all probably know it won’t mean anything when another election is looming.

Odessa, TX

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