Praying for return to life without campaign folderol

November 06, 2006|By Kevin Cowherd | Kevin Cowherd,Sun Columnist

One voter's election-eve prayer:

Lord, help me make it through the next 48 hours without losing my mind from all the sleazy campaign rhetoric.

After tomorrow, let there be no more talk of "America's deadliest city" or "the politics of fear and division." It makes me ill.

Let no one be labeled a "tool of the special interests" or a "rubber stamp for the Bush administration" or any of the other mudslinging terms we've heard for months.

Let us hear no more of 20-year-old drunk-driving charges, fear-mongering about absentee ballots, Election Day shenanigans involving poll worker assignments and this and that conspiracy to disenfranchise voters.

Let the vicious, never-ending attack ads go away, for they make me want to shower and scrub with a bar of Octagon soap.

Even the Michael Steele ad with the dog.

Although, OK, that one was funny.

Please let there be no more talk of polling after Tuesday, either.

Oh, I have had it up to here with polls.

Gallup, Zogby, Potomac, Rasmussen Reports -- let all the pollsters go jump in the ocean, with their smug numbers and 800 people surveyed and margins of error of plus or minus 3 percent.

What else?

When the phone rings after tomorrow, let it not be a tinny, recorded voice urging me to vote for this candidate, or trashing that candidate.

Or even worse: Let it not be a cheerful volunteer with a chipmunky voice asking me to take part in a 30-minute "voter research study."

No, let my annoying phone calls go back to being what they were: pushy home remodelers asking if I'm ready to plunk down $50,000 for a sun-room, or vague-sounding "law enforcement" agencies asking for another donation.

On a similar note, let my mailbox not be stuffed with campaign literature for the first time in months.

Instead, let there be room again for the important stuff: the Pennysaver, Domino's pizza coupons, golf magazines and the usual half-dozen offers for the new platinum Visa card with zero percent interest for up to 12 months.

At busy intersections during rush hour, let the sign-carrying politicians with their ceaseless Chiclets smiles be gone.

I'm sick of them all, and their grinning, waving, thumbs-up-giving disciples, too.

Don't these people have a life?

Let the intersections return to being what they were: vast, lawless stretches of macadam where brakes squeal, motorists cut each other off and flash the finger, and young men with multiple tattoos gun their Dodge Vipers through yellow lights.

If anyone stands at an intersection carrying a sign after tomorrow, let it again be the poor disheveled guy who pleads: "Homeless Vietnam Vet -- Please Help."

Speaking of roads, it will be nice to have them free again of campaign signs the size of drive-in-movie screens.

Please make that happen after tomorrow, so that all of us, rich and poor, black and white, Christian, Jew and Muslim, can go back to enjoying the usual clutter of garish Burger King, Best Buy and Dunkin' Donuts signs we're accustomed to seeing along the highways.

Let there be no more talk of debates after tomorrow, either.

Ehrlich-O'Malley on MPT, Ehrlich-O'Malley on WJZ, Steele-Cardin on NBC's Meet the Press -- none of these was exactly Clarence Darrow-William Jennings Bryan at the Scopes Monkey Trial.

What do we ever get out of these debates except more hot air? More lofty rhetoric and empty promises?

When, let's face it, the only interesting thing is watching the expressions on the faces of the moderators -- Denise Koch was the best -- all of whom appear to be thinking: Boy, is this guy full of it, or what?

So let it all be over after tomorrow, and let us get back to our lives.

No more "Candidates stump as time winds down" headlines in the local fishwrap.

No more footage on the 11 o'clock news of caffeinated candidates glad-handing startled commuters at 7 in the morning at a park-and-ride lot.

No more talk of Diebold voting machines and the horrors they've unleashed on an unsuspecting society.

And please, please let there be no need for a recount in any of the races.

I'm not sure I could stand that.

Amen.

kevin.cowherd@baltsun.com

To hear podcasts featuring Kevin Cowherd, go to baltimoresun.com/cowherd

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