Monday, September 8, 2008

The Political Naughty Word Jar

Inaccuracies about opponents - intentional or unintentional, Republican or Democrat - tend to hang around longer than chewed Bubbilicious on your shoe in August. Regardless of intent - these inaccuracies (or at times outright lies) about opponents mislead voters, and in the age of near-instant verification - it's a practice that should end. So in a conversation this afternoon, I hit upon an idea. Once there was - to put it kindly - a regime change at a former employer of mine. The new ME hated cursing as much as we reporters loved it, and in an effort to get us to quit, she put out a Naughty Word Jar. Say a curse word, she explained, and you have to put a quarter in the jar. The money would go to charity when it filled up. (Of course, my response was to ask if I could just prepay about $10, because I was pretty sure I was gonna do $10 worth of cursing. At least.) But it could be possible, I suppose, for the Federal Election Commission to do something similar, with a fining process. You lie about your opponent, you have to pay a fine - which escalates for each offense. The fines go to a voter education program, or to subsidize the new voting machines required by the government when poorer municipalities can't afford them (thanks, unfunded/underfunded mandates!). Any thoughts?