Guilt by Shaky Association
Elections are coming. You can feel it in the air. You can smell it on TV (some of those ads really stink).
As a person who is interested in thinking through the various candidates, I turned to Yahoo Election 2006: Candidates & Information. That site allowed me to see who was running for office in my area, and provided links to their websites.
It was on this site that I discovered the Republican candidate for the U.S. House, TN 5th District, Mr. Tom Kovach (pictured above). Mr. Kovach doesn't have a particularly well-constructed web-site. However, there is plenty of information on it. His political views are expressed. They are, of course and rightly so for his party, conservative. Sometimes very conservative. That is fine, no problem.
He doesn't have much political experience. And he is running against an incredibly well-qualified incumbent. So, I don't know what his chances are. But, more power to him. We should not have a one-party system, and we need to have a real choice on election day. So, I'm glad he's there.
Then I came to the link on his sidebar entitled "Opposition." This is what it said, and I am not making this up:
The incumbent Democrat is Jim Cooper -- a confessed Rhodes 'scholar'. Cecil Rhodes founded the scholarship program, which he dedicated to the promotion of global Socialism. (Three days after I wrote this column, another Rhodes "scholar" withdrew from the Presidential race.)
A "confessed Rhodes 'scholar'"? Do I really need to break down the utter silliness of this statement? Oh, why not?
--Confessed: as in, "confessed child molester" or "confessed murderer." The person is a criminal, or at least is "confessing" something that we all know is wrong.
--Rhodes: Since the Mr. Kovach says that Cecil Rhodes was a Socialist, I must infer that anyone who is awarded a scholarship founded by and named after Rhodes must also be a Socialist. Never mind that the Rhodes Scholarship is one of the most prestigious scholarships in the world. Never mind that the Rhodes Scholarship has been given to scores of men and women who have gone on to greatness (for a list, check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhodes_Scholar. Never mind that Rhodes was actually not a socialist. In fact, he came from the other end of the political spectrum. He was an elitist and racist who wanted his scholarship to bring together a group of white men who would rule the world. It has changed quite a bit over the past 90 years.
--"Scholar": in quotes. As in, "claiming to be a scholar, but not really." O.K., if a person who earns the "world's oldest and most prestigious international fellowship" (wikipedia) is not a scholar, then who is? Given that the Rhodes scholarship sets a person down to study at Oxford University, in the U.K., and that it is a "scholarship," I think that a person who recieves it is certainly a scholar.
Further, he writes this about one of his other opponents:
Also running in 2006 as an Independent is Ginny Welsch. But, she is actually a member of the Green Party. As I have written in more than one column over the years, based upon information that I learned during my Air Force career, the Green Party was originally affiliated with the Baader-Meinhof terrorist gang in Germany.
Once again, are you kidding me? Let's say its true, let's say that members of the original Green Party in Germany were "affiliated" with members of the Baader-Meinhof left-wing terrorist group (which is a pretty wild claim). What does that mean in this campaign? Am I to infer that Ginny Welsch wants to blow people up in the name of worker's rights? Oh, please.
Guilt by association is stupidity. Guilt by innuendo and a questionable read of history reveals a certain ignorance and desperation. I think the Republican party, or any party, can do better.
I think some of the stink just rubbed off of my TV and onto the internet. Gross.