Politics itself is a dirty game and everyone plays the game. In an ideal world, policy would dominate the discussion and the tug-of-war over control would be regarding principles. Unfortunately, we do not live in an ideal world and sometimes things do get nasty. Candidates will take low blows at each other and vitriol becomes high.
Then there are low blows taken at the families of candidates.
Is this acceptable discourse?
Ahead of the upcoming Republican primary, sparks are flying in the First Congressional District as Mark Holbrook and Ande Smith duel for the nomination. Both individuals are currently making their case to Republican voters on who should take on incumbent Democratic Congresswoman Chellie Pingree.
On Holbrook’s campaign website, he makes a bizarre case against his opponent by taking a low swipe at his family.
Smith sounds like a lawer even when he doesn’t have to. One odd example, is that he frequently notes is that he and his wife have five children, ages 8 to 18, and that they spaced them two years apart. But, like a lawyer, he wiggles on the fact that he’s only been married two years, and that his children are from different marriages. Not that there’s anything wrong with blended families. Why force the impression that he and his wife planned on having their five children two years apart?
There are a number of issues wrong with this statement.
First, who cares? Children being from different marriages doesn’t mean that they together aren’t a family. Is an individual only capable of being a parental figure if they have a blood relation to the child?
Second, Holbrook openly contradicted himself. He states “not that there’s anything wrong with blended families” while openly making an issue out of blended families. If it’s not an issue, why bring it up?
Third, if anyone sounds like a lawyer, it’s Holbrook. He’s nitpicking at the details and trying to play dirty with points that are essentially irrelevant to the political race at hand.
Fourth, for crying out loud, if you’re going to nitpick and try to play dirty, at least don’t forget the “y” in “lawyer.”
Ultimately, this gives Republican voters a contrast in personality. As the primary wraps up, will this sort of conduct shown by Holbrook match up well in the Congressional First District race against Chellie Pingree?