Focus on candidate's positions

Dear Editor,

I love that politics is a contact sport, so, though I currently favor our 7th District Senator John Smith in the coming election, I don’t get all huffy reading the contrived slime-slinging against him. Seems his wife’s grandfather apparently had to do with some uber-right wing church that the Southern Poverty Law Center divines a hate group. I also appreciate a good irrelevant, salacious sneer like how old Senator Smith’s wife was when he married her (16, he was 23, it is said).

Now, I like John’s opponent Brian Dansel (he just introduced his lovely mother to me at the fair). I think he’d be good for the 7th district too, and I take issue elsewhere in print with John’s policy about mandatory volunteer work for students.

But I’m thinking, it’s curious that a candidate’s opponents go to such preposterous extremes as a granddaddy-in-law’s ancient religious views and the marriage age of the candidate’s wife (of many years and children) to criticize him. What that tells me as a responsible voter is … they can’t find anything substantive in the Senator’s platform, policies or performance to complain about … or they’d be complaining about it.

What do I care if Smith’s granddaddy-in-law belonged to some church that the SPLC calls a ‘hate group’? Shoot, the SPLC itself is a ‘hate group’ under its own definition by virtue of being ‘hostile’ and ‘hateful’ and at least litigationally ‘violent’ against most every non-liberal group it despises. On Google, a lot of credible folks allege SPLC honcho Morris Dees is a duplicitous, money-grubbing charlatan.

And picture this beauty: Some of the ‘Ark’ church criticism of Smith’s grand in-law I’m reading comes from Spokane Democrats who apparently thought nothing of recently twice electing a president who was himself a card-carrying member of a ‘hate group’ church that damned America and other races right up to his first campaign. Who’d a thunk it?

What I want to know is what has Senator Smith done in the state senate – if anything – that is harmful to the 7th district? Where’s the objective evidence? How will Brian do the job better?

I’ve also met Dezarae Smith and she didn’t exactly strike me as some oppressed child-bride victim. She seemed a sharp, poised, positive young mother and as far as I could tell a fine spouse for a good politician. What I want to know is what the fazoolie the Smiths’ ages at marriage has to do with the policies Senator Smith will support in Olympia. What’s he gonna do? Sponsor a bill for marrying high-school girls? Nnnnnah. I doubt it. Besides, I’m already married.

So, don’t get righteous over dirty politics, for it has too many disparate, partisan definitions. Just always ask yourself what it legitimately has to do with any candidate’s demonstrated positions.

William Slusher