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American politics are toxic: Is that OK with you?

The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee’s proceedings this past week proved one thing Republicans and Democrats who are honest with themselves can’t possibly deny.
American politics is broken and change is needed.
After addressing whether Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted Christine Blasey Ford, Republicans and Democrats must address the toxicity of the existing system. But first, one thing is clear, no woman should ever be mistreated in the manner she alleges.
The allegations against Kavanaugh are symptomatic of a larger issue. Our politics are toxic and we have only ourselves to blame for we have tolerated the downward spiral toward this cesspool. TV commercials – perhaps the most expensive form of promoting a candidacy – are more about identifying a candidate’s shortcomings than about promoting reasons to vote for Johnson or Walz, Eric Paulsen, Dean Phillips, Joe Radinovich or Pete Stauber.
There is seemingly no greater offender than the commercials promoted by the congressional leadership groups. The commercials they produce and claim responsibility for are especially offensive. Congressional leadership commercials take the quickest path into the slime. Voters need to understand the candidates might not have approved the ads, but they certainly accept the benefits of the foul attacks.
And that’s where you, the voter, comes in.
It is up to voters to let our elected representatives know the mudslinging must stop, that we as the owners of this Democracy demand intelligent discourse on issues, not mudslinging. We must demand candidates for elected office conduct their campaigns in a civil, responsible fashion.
In the case of Joe Radinovich, a Democrat running for the U.S. House of Representatives representing Minnesota’s Eighth District, ads by House Leadership PAC claim he “spent his life running from the law” are arguably overstated, according to a Duluth News-Tribune fact check. Radinovich is no saint and many of the allegations against him are petty misdemeanors, a violation of the law but, according to Minnesota law, not severe enough to make Radinovich a criminal.
We must demand our candidates stick to reasons to vote for them and not character assassination. Such behavior on the campaign trail lays the groundwork for the inability to pass even the fundamentally basic legislation.
If Judge Kavanaugh is guilty of the most heinous crime against a woman, he should not be permitted a lifetime seat on our nation’s highest court. If that is true, a party-line vote should be the last thing we see from lawmakers. If he is not guilty of those allegations, Kavanaugh’s appointment should be considered on his merits. Nothing more.

-jm