Carnes: Let the implications begin |

Carnes: Let the implications begin

Guilt by association is a very dangerous dance to play.

Amongst the plethora of outrageous insinuations and outright lies we will be forced to endure for the next 140 days (leading up to Nov. 4), these verbal red herrings rank up there in the top three, alongside defaming e-mails and TV ads paid for with “527” money.

Why these exaggerated suspicions are dangerous should be self-explanatory, and using the phrase “distasteful demagoguery” will just confuse those missing the ability to look inward, therefore I will explain in terms that even a Clinton supporter from West Virginia can understand: It ain’t fair.

Yes, we all had mothers who shouted, “Birds of a feather!” and fathers who proclaimed, “You can judge a man by the company he keeps,” but those are little more than outdated aphorisms that are not relevant in today’s world, for if they were, the pope would be considered a pedophile.

And that’s where the injustice of the entire absurdity begins.

Suspicions are given credence in spite of questionable evidence, and poorly supported accusations are used to discredit an opponent all in the name of propelling one’s own agenda; in other words, winning.

And the weak attempt at deception is painfully obvious to most on both sides of the fence, but blissfully ignored.

To be perfectly clear, I am neither pro-Obama or anti-McCain, but wasn’t it bad enough when McCain tried to link Hamas with Obama because Hamas publically said it preferred Obama?

What if the KKK endorsed McCain for the obvious reason? Would we immediately have the opinionated “right” to label McCain a racist?

Of course not.

It’s like saying everyone who votes against Obama is logically a racist and those who vote against McCain are therefore reverse-racists. It is the ultimate logical fallacy (besides belief in the supernatural, of course).

So let’s get real here and pull our sanctimonious brain buckets out of our own smug backside buckets.

I know more than a few around Happy Valley who have cheated on their spouse, run a business into the ground, drank too much, received a DUI, spent a night or two in jail, smoked pot, run for office, won an election, alienated friends and neighbors, and are still considered a “pillar of the community” whenever he/she/it is referenced in social circles.

And you know them as well.

Anyone who claims to have never associated with a single individual who has been guilty at some point in their life to at least two or more of the above activities is, A) a delusional liar or B) living a life devoid of reality.

Take your pick.

Yet when it comes to politics, or better yet, political parties, many of us will do or say virtually anything in an attempt to discredit an opponent or an opponent’s idea based merely upon the fact that we disagree with one or the other or both, and will then reach for unimaginable “associations” in a highly irrational attempt to “prove” our point.

It’s embarrassing, really.

These are the same thought processes that conceived the words “rhetoric” and “propaganda” in smoke-filled rooms of elections past.

“You want to finish Bush’s third term!” shouts Obama.

“You want to start Carter’s second!” retorts McCain.

Nothing more than silly political babble meant to scare the other side into questioning their loyalty or patriotism or whatever the hell people are too insecure to have questioned at that moment.

So whether it’s Obama with Hamas, Rev. Wright, Bill Ayers, and Michelle Obama’s American pride, or McCain with McBush, Gordon Liddy, John Hagee or Cindy McCain’s “mob” connections, we have to spend the next five months filtering out the nonsense from what really matters, like gay marriage and who has the bigger flag pin.

Either way, the dance is just beginning.

I hope you brought good shoes.

NOTE: The preceding opinions belong to Richard and are not necessarily shared by this newspaper … but for some reason, he thinks they should be.

Richard Carnes of Edwards writes a column for the Daily. He can be reached at

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