Political silly season has its dark side, too | Chuck Parrish

The political season is often called the “silly” season. If it were not for the serious ramifications of elections, I would agree.

The political season is often called the “silly” season. If it were not for the serious ramifications of elections, I would agree.

The swing states are being carpet bombed with ads right now. It will be our turn soon. Besides political ads created in state, we will see a big increase in ads from out-of-state organizations with innocuous names that we do not recognize and whose agenda is unclear.

The Citizens United decision opened wider the floodgates of $$ to the political process. Super Pacs and now tax-exempt, social-justice nonprofits are the biggest avenues for such monies. See Seattle Times article http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2018631575_taxexempt08.html. The Supreme Court just recently said it would not revisit the Citizens United decision.

It is argued that it does not matter how much money is spent or where it comes from.  Money is free speech and corporations are people. (Really?…ever see a corporation drafted into the military or suffer the loss of a loved one in war?) The argument goes that only voters can vote and thus are the decision makers; voters are the firewall of our democracy.

Money is spent not only to influence public opinion but to frighten legislators. Mr Legislator, if you don’t vote our way, we will go after you in your district come election time. Here is a simple question that we might ask ourselves. If one does not have the money, how successful will he or she be at getting their message out to the voting populace? Money, secrecy and democracy are not a good mix.

Most voters are not well-informed on public policy issues. Effective campaigns attempt to connect with voters on an emotional level with actors that look and sound just like us. The campaigns offer appealing bumper sticker rhetoric that “sounds right.”  It simplifies the process for us. While we voters say pretty much universally that we do not like negative ads, political organizations know that it works and will continue to use it.

When dealing with political issues, I ask myself the following questions:

1.) What is being presented?

2.) Who is the presenter?

3.) Why should I believe them?

4.) Who can I talk with that has greater knowledge on the subject than I do?

The major candidates for governor talk about how they want to dramatically increase investment in education. Neither offers any ideas as to how they would pay for it.  They seem afraid to speak of revenue increases. Perhaps it really is “silly” season.

Chuck Parrish is a regular columnist for the Tukwila Reporter. Contact him at editor@tukwilareporter.com


More in Opinion

Washington State Capitol Building. File photo
Editorial: Taxpayers deserve down payment on tax reforms

By The Herald Editorial Board Reform of the state’s tax system wasn’t… Continue reading

Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon and Page Carson Foster. Photo credit Washington State Legislative Support Services
Carson Foster serves as page in Washington State House

The following was submitted to the Reporter: Carson Foster, a student at… Continue reading

State Dems may abandons caucus chaos in time for 2020

Washington also is considering becoming more significant by moving its primary to early March.

Are sheriffs above the law?

Washington voters have spoken on I-1639. Sheriffs need to set the stage to follow their oath of office - and enforce the law.

Parking issues should be addressed now rather than later

So let’s have a little update on Tukwila Village. Construction on the… Continue reading

Two commissioner positions available this year

For The Reporter The Tukwila Pool Metropolitan Park District (TPMPD) is a… Continue reading

Especially in an election year, our elected should do better

At first glance, the reinstitution of the Hazelnut, Issue 1 — looks,… Continue reading

When tomorrow becomes today: King County cities must tackle affordable housing

Microsoft has started the regional dialogue, but will cities rise to the challenge?

Representation matters

By Flip Herndon Tukwila Superintendent During the month of February we may… Continue reading

Why public libraries matter more than ever in the Information Age

Occasionally, someone unfamiliar with King County Library System will say to me… Continue reading

Tukwila Pool welcomes new water aerobics classes

By Laci Jamison The Tukwila Pool is excited to announce that we… Continue reading

With city budgets, come tough choices

In a previous column, I briefly touched on how our new public… Continue reading