The Issues, Stupid

Guest Post by Michael Chambers
James Carville coined the phrase “The economy, stupid.” Used in the Clinton/Bush debate, it resonated with the voter and carried Bill Clinton to victory.

In Charlestown today, it’s the ISSUES. It’s not the opinions, innuendos, smears, lies, deceptions, hate filled rhetoric, or character assassinations that seem so easy for some disgruntled political commentators to promote. You can never underestimate the depths to which frustrated politicos will go to discredit the hard work of people who are elected to office and who keep their promises during their terms of office. Some of the disenfranchised complainants will go from political nit-picking to verbal bullying to try to get their point across.

The problem with nit pickers and bullies is that their tactics have the same result – avoidance of discussing the issues. Two years ago I was a registered Democrat who became outraged by the low class actions of the members of the Charlestown Democratic Town Committee (CDTC) through their publications. So I started regularly attending Town Council and Planning Commission meetings to try to understand the issues and the truth behind them. It didn’t take long before CDTC obstructionism became apparent, especially at the Town Council meetings. I read accounts of each meeting promoted by the CDTC and had to wonder if they and I were at the same meeting! How outrageous it was to me to think that CDTC members who did not attend the meetings were being fed tripe instead of truth. Then the attack on Lisa DiBello was the last straw and I had to change my affiliation to Independent. These tactics bothered me and I could not understand why it didn’t bother the rest of the CDTC. After two years of disbelief in the shallowness of that group, I am convinced that the only thing that will placate them is to have total control of this town and beat down all opposition.

Charlestown is a community of many viewpoints. Viewpoints are based on all those things that affect the individual. Those things might be a combination of religious, educational, cultural, economic, family, and community characteristics, among others. This is how people come to formulate opinions on the issues of the day. But, unless the issues are addressed openly and truthfully, the residents of Charlestown get cheated. The bullies and nit pickers would rather distract the voter than tell them the truth, would rather use deception than the truth, would rather employ cheesy clip art images than tell the truth, and would rather indulge in character assassination than present the facts. So, to those who seek election, I say it’s the issues, stupid.