There’s always the observation of “nasty campaigns” and more often than not, it’s the opposing party that calls it to our attention.

Everyone knows that Cathy Cox and Mark Taylor had a little slug fest going in the Democratic primary race for governor. In his recent visit to Moultrie to raise his own campaign money, Gov. Sonny Perdue made note of that nasty campaign — this from the man who likened his opponent in his previous race to a rat crawling on the capital dome. What irony!

Some noted Republicans also put former U.S. Senator Max Cleland in the same category as Osama bin Laden. Yet it was Cleland who left three of his limbs in the jungles of Vietnam. The best some of the GOP’ers could do at that time in efforts of damage control was to claim that Cleland wasn’t actually in battle when he was injured by a grenade. Yet, he was there fully armed and in harm’s way when it happened. His limbs probably never knew that ripping explosions during jungle missions must meet a certain criteria to give one full patriot status.

Oh well, this is politics. And proverbially noted, if you can’t stand the heat, then get out of the kitchen.

American politics have always been this way. It’s almost humorous that someone will point it all out each political season like it’s something that just came upon us and needs in-depth analysis. Democrats do it. Republicans do it — past, present and future.

Some people ask, “why can’t they all just get along?” That remark in itself is almost cartoonish. The fact is, our very beginnings were about robust debate, sharp tongues, rabid and caustic remarks. If it must have a name, then call it the “underbelly of doing democracy.”

Some candidate will always make the hackneyed remark “We might as well go ahead and take the gloves off” whenever that soundbyte will get the most exposure.

In fact, former governor and U.S. Senator Zell Miller (sometimes a Democrat and sometimes a Republican) said those very words on the stage of Colquitt County’s civic auditorium not too many years ago as a statewide series of debates launched here.

And some people think all of this is really sad. Perhaps it is. But much sadder is the lack of a passion for democracy in our country, an ailment reflected in poor voter turnouts. We have become so complacent that a very few call the shots.

Simply put, we preach a lot more than we practice. If we should stop and take inventory in that philosophical workshed in which we perpetuate our democracy, we would see that our American flag stands much less danger from being burned than from being embarrassed.

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