Read before discarding: A new motto for politics?

I know nothing about Larry Marvin or his Senate campaign in Nebraska. In this ad, he seems earnest enough.

What caught my eye, though, was not his qualifications but the line at the top of his ad: “Read Before Discarding.”

In today’s disposable world, that line comes across as a bit of sage realism: I know you won’t pay much attention to this, but at least take a look before you throw it away.

Politics has become so infused with pledge-signing, I’m-right-you’re-wrong, truth-be-damned invective that discussions – real discussions – about issues, compromise and the good of all the people have all but disappeared. Candidates are bought and sold like cattle, and political “dialogue” has all the subtlety of a fresh pile in a feedlot.  

When voters do take the time to read about politics, they rarely bother to digest the information and make rational decisions. Rather, they discard before reading, turn on the TV and then vote for the candidate with the best sound bite.

Or, more likely, they don’t vote at all.

So maybe Larry Marvin’s approach isn’t so bad, after all. He’s at least asking people to read and think before moving on.

Maybe that’s all any of us can hope for.

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