(c) 2011 Sherman Lambert

Reporting to you live from Denver, Colorado, home of the first presidential debate for the 2012 election. In order to avoid the predicted major traffic snafus caused by closing I-25, the major artery through central Denver, my son was sent home early from work and my husband pedaled home, as planned—well, until he got a flat tire and called me to go pick him up. I know this is an exciting event but I’m rather glad I still have choir practice tonight.

In a 24/7 electronic world, I’m sure I can still hear what is said during the debate without listening to it as it happens. I’m already ready to cast my presidential vote but still have decisions to make on the local fronts.

I am so over politics as usual. These are difficult times, but if you listen to all the advertisements, the way to solve our problems is to put down anyone who isn’t on your side, whatever that side may be.

No! The way to solve our problems is to start working together and to stop thinking that compromise is a dirty word.

I am not sure why anyone would want to run for office in these divisive days. I’m especially disgusted by the attack advertisements promoted not by the candidates, but by Political Action Committees (PACs) and other faceless, nameless groups.

If I were a candidate, I’d be pretty upset that these people were slandering my opponent—supposedly in my name. We seem to be Ground Zero here because we have two young voters registered in two parties. Most of the literature comes addressed to them, not my husband or me. (Does that mean we’re committing mail fraud if we read those postcards before they do? Yikes!)

But according to those flyers, for example, we have a choice between voting for a “deadbeat” or an “ATM” for the legislature. (If I had no soul and wanted to make good money writing, then I’d write that sort of thing!) Really? And we wonder why kids are having trouble with bullies in school.

And don’t even get me started about all the money being spent on these elections. Wouldn’t it be nice if people with that kind of money just wanted to use it to take care of the problems we have?

Don’t mind me—I’m still looking for that kinder, gentler nation someone once said we could create. I know it can still happen, but it’s going to take the voters of this nation telling the attackers that we’ll never get there if we can’t even make it to Election Day without assaulting everyone who runs for office.

How can we expect our elected officials to be good at playing nice, if they first have to go through full-out battle—from all sides—to make it into those elected positions?