0

MURPHY: Divisions clear as midterms creep up

J.K. Murphy

J.K. Murphy

With only seven more weeks of annoying robo-calls and irritating television commercials left, some random political ponderings:

* * *

How much will the latest string of bad news about Nathan Deal affect his campaign for governor? Some believe not at all. The GOP nominee is the topic of news stories reporting ethics charges, his failure to disclose required information and family financial dealings that reportedly have left him broke. He spoke Friday at the Gwinnett County Bar Association's lunch meeting upstairs at the Historic Courthouse, but those topics never surfaced -- during his speech or the Q and A.

The woeful news, however, provides ample fuel for Democrat nominee Roy Barnes' attack campaign. But how much of it will stick? Many voters are so numbed by the political dirt, they refuse to put much credence in any of it. The latest poll showed him with a commanding 49 percent of the vote.

A futile plea to the candidates: Tell me what you'll do for me if you're elected governor, not what a scumbag your opponent is.

* * *

Doug Heckman, Democrat nominee for 7th Congressional District, had the best line at the Bar Association event. A Special Forces colonel and Green Beret who just returned from Iraq this year, Heckman was talking to the crowd about the need to bring an end to the partisan stalemate in D.C. "I like to say I was able to bring the Sunnis and Shias together in Iraq, and I'd like to believe I can bring the Democrats and Republicans together in Washington."

* * *

How polarized is our nation? A recently spotted bumper sticker may give us some insight. It read: "I'll give your president as much respect as you gave mine." I get it, but I find it disheartening. I prefer a citizenry that believes we all have the same president. Regardless of whether we voted for him, agree with his politics or like or dislike him, he's still our president.

* * *

Conservative talk show hosts continue to drive their listeners further right. But are they motivated by political ideology or ratings? Let's hypothesize: The economy improves as a direct result of the president's policies. The conservative radio and television personalities actually bestow credit where credit is due. Their listeners go elsewhere. Not picking on the Republicans here. The reverse would be true if anyone was listening to liberal radio.

* * *

Along those lines, President Barack Obama last week addressed schoolchildren without nearly the hullabaloo as last year. Some fear his back-to-school lecture is an attempt to indoctrinate young minds. Campaigning politicians don't need to be stumping school hallways, but the president of the United States should be able to talk to the youth of this nation without causing a furor.

* * *

Will we ever be truly united? One nation under God and indivisible?

J.K. Murphy is the publisher of the Gwinnett Daily Post. E-mail him at jk.murphy@gwinnettdailypost.com.