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November 4, 2012

DUVALL: In increasingly ugly America, it's time to get serious

Tonawanda News — From the amber waves of grain to the purple mountain majesties, I look over this country and find its fabric frayed. 

After all that’s been said and all that’s been done over the last four years by our president, his critics and vox populi, I pose this question: Is America beautiful? 

Our founding principles certainly are. But in this election — and over the last four years — have we, as a society, lived up to our creation story?

The answer is plainly no and we feel it in our gut.

The alternatives placed before us seem inadequate. We have a president who promised sweeping change. It sure doesn’t feel like he’s delivered it. We have a challenger who’s been seeking the job for six years now and no one seems to know what he’d do with it if he got it.

But here’s another question: Have we, as a society, gotten what we deserved? 

Hardcore supporters of both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney seem to be falling back on this notion that the two men as candidates aren’t good representations of how they would be if elected. They believe if everyone could just see past all the media bias, anonymous attacks and the candidates’ own failings, everyone would agree their guy is the best. 

But it doesn’t work that way. It shouldn’t work that way. What these men say matters. So, too, does it matter what informed and responsible journalists and commentators have to say. Unfortunately, the reality is the candidates and the commentators alike have failed the country and delivered an election decided by ginned up controversy, soundbites, vapid five-point plans and promises so void of meaning — where there have been promises made at all — Americans could be forgiven for tuning the whole thing out.

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