Everybody has certain things they feel very strongly about. Harry Potter, correct grammar, Blair football... fixations also extend into more serious fields such as political issues and social causes and can be perfectly healthy expressions of personal opinion. If left unchecked, however, they morph into obsessions that negatively affect us all.
But wait! Surveillance footage from cameras at the ATM where Todd was reportedly robbed showed neither Todd nor her alleged assailant. Soon police brought Todd in for questioning due to "inconsistencies" in her story. After being subjected to a polygraph test, Todd decided to come clean: it turns out she'd fabricated the entire incident. She's currently charged with filing a false police report, a misdemeanor offense, and is being held in Allegheny County Jail. Bail is set at $50,000.
The entire incident is as ridiculous as it is to be expected this election year. Todd's actions, which could have had very negative effects against the Obama campaign, read like a conspiracy theory but aren't anything new. Constituents have been taking a more active hand in campaigns, resulting in highly offensive and inflammatory rhetoric. This, coupled with the advent of new forms of media such as YouTube and Wikipedia and Facebook, has resulted in one of the dirtiest presidential campaigns in recent memory.
As the first black presidential nominee from a major party, Barack Obama is an easy target for large amounts of racist criticism. Much to the delight of some bigoted conservatives, Obama's middle name is "Hussein," while his last name bears an uncanny resemblance to "Osama." Negative campaign-related materials, including a vast armada of bigoted YouTube videos and blog posts, denounce the candidate with prejudiced combinations of stereotypes/epithets and the term "Barack Hussein Osama." On a shadier note, the McCain campaign itself has been accused of pushing racist videos against their opponents. In March for example, Soren Dayton, a McCain aide, was suspended for actively pushing a racially-charged anti-Obama ad. Rapid 2 a.m. edits to Sarah Palin's Wikipedia page hours before her announcement as the Republican vice-presidential nominee have also drawn skepticism from publications such as the New York Times. To be fair, this trend reaches beyond the McCain camp. Barack Obama's campaign has had its fair share of vocal, misogynistic supporters. Rapper Ludacris for example, released "Politics (Obama is Here)," over the summer, attacking both McCain and former presidential contender Hillary Clinton, insulting McCain for his age and Clinton for her "irrelevance."
Regardless of which candidate you support or which political party you represent, one thing is clear: the theater of American politics has deviated too far from the issues.
David Tao. is, until he isn't. More »