“To thine own self be true,” is a line from Shakespeare’s Hamlet. It is spoken by Polonius, the father of Laertes and Ophelia. The line drips with irony. Polonius’ character is far from one of virtue and honesty. Polonius’ deceitful nature depicts a lack of sincerity and integrity. Throughout Hamlet, Polonius proves to be a hypocrite who is self-centered and disloyal.
Those who pretend to be one way when they are something else earn the name “hypocrite.” In the theater, these are the rouge characters, who frustrate and fascinate at the same time. In real life, though, there isn’t anything admirable about acting this way. Unfortunately, in politics, we see it consistently.
The midterm election is now a mere two weeks away. Talk of a blue wave has faded a bit. There has been a resurgence among Republicans. Democrats are scrambling to find ways to reach the electorate. I live in Missouri. The big race here is for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Claire McCaskill. Senator McCaskill (D-MO) has proven to be a crafty politician. She escaped what seemed to be certain defeat in 2012 by meddling in the Republican primary and then basking in an unforced error by her opponent.
This year, though, she’s facing a tough fight. State Attorney General Josh Hawley is giving her everything she can handle and more. He now holds a slight lead in the Real Clear Politics average poll. Senator McCaskill is trying to run as an independent, moderate voice. During the Kavanaugh hearing, I’d emailed her about my hope that she’d support him. In an email response to me about her decision to not support him, she explained her opposition, based on his alleged support of “dark money” in politics. She then added, “As your United States Senator, I will never play partisan politics when carrying out my constitutional duty to provide “advice and consent” on the President’s nominations. I will support nominees who I believe, based on their record, will be fair and objective in performing their duties and upholding our Constitution.” That statement stunned me. Regardless of what she asserts in Missouri, Senator McCaskill has been nothing but partisan in her time in the Senate.
On December 22, 2017, Senator McCaskill, despite pledging to Missourians she’d support middle class tax relief, joined with all the other Democrats in voting against the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. “Joe Donnelly and Claire McCaskill promised tax reform for years but chose partisan politics over Indiana and Missouri families when they had a once-in-a-generation opportunity to provide tax relief,” Americans for Prosperity President Tim Phillips said. Senator McCaskill seems to say one thing to us in Missouri and then vote differently in Washington D.C.
Chuck Raasch in the St. Louis Post Dispatch acknowledged on February 4, 2018, “On major votes, ranging from taxes to health care to abortion rights, Sen. McCaskill is often tethered to her party’s line.” The NRA gave her an “F” rating on her gun legislation voting record. Sen. McCaskill received a 100% score for her voting record from the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL). This record hardly reflects that of Missourians. Most Missourians, 55% in a 2014 PEW Research Center poll, do not think abortion should be legal in most cases. Missourians are even more adamant about supporting 2nd Amendment rights.
Missouri Amendment #5, which was known as the right to bear arms amendment, passed in 2014 with almost 61% of Missourians voting in favor. On the campaign trail Sen. McCaskill claims to be a moderate for Missouri. Her record doesn’t seem to reflect what most Missourians think. Sen. McCaskill votes with Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) nearly 90 percent of the time, hardly reflecting the midwestern values of the Show-Me state.
In two weeks, my fellow Missourians will have the opportunity to remind Sen. McCaskill that Missouri values matter. What’s true in the McCaskill/Hawley race in Missouri is happening across the country. Whether it be the race for Senate, the House or Governor, the Democrats, in what seems to me to be desperation, are trying to present themselves as something they are not. With two weeks to go, the hypocrisy is rampant. Whether it be in a House race, Governor’s race or Senate race, we must be diligent.
Early voting is already taking place in some states. The early signs may be good for the GOP. NBC News reported on October 22, 2018 that “Republican-affiliated voters have outpaced Democratic-affiliated voters in early voting in seven closely watched states.” The data indicates, “GOP-affiliated voters have surpassed Democratic-affiliated ones in early voting in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Montana, Tennessee and Texas.” Though the early signs are positive, conservatives cannot afford to sit back. If the enthusiasm of the right-wing surpasses that of the left, control of the House and Senate could remain with the GOP. Remember what Shakespeare wrote a long time ago; “to thine own self be true.” Vote Hawley in Missouri and vote Red across the country.
Image: CCO Creative Commons; Excerpted from: https://pixabay.com/en/smartphone-face-woman-girl-eyes-1618909/