The far-left Democrats have ads from groups like MoveOn.org accusing President Bush with causing brain damage among America's children. How? Why, by rolling back environmental regulations and giving them mercury poisoning, of course!
The near-left Republicans, who have outspent the Democrats, aren't relying on other sources to do their dirty work (Fox News Channel notwithstanding). Their own ads charge Vietnam veteran John Kerry with being "soft on defense," implying that terrorism will thrive under a Kerry administration because he doesn't care what happens to you and your family.
Naturally, the effort to undermine one's opponent isn't limited to the telling of lies and half-truths; intimidation is also an option. Republicans, for example, have accused the Kerry campaign of using illegal soft money contributions to coordinate the "independent" anti-Bush ads. This strategy is especially disturbing because Bush was the one who signed campaign finance reform into law. In fact, he signed it while admitting the bill raised "serious constitutional concerns," which only proves that his motivation was to simply stifle his competition.
Don't get me wrong. I'm all for these campaign cage matches - mostly because I believe that they reveal the true colors of the major parties. Democrats are shown to be the liars they really are while Republican hypocrisy is placed on prominent display for all to see.
It is clear that the only thing these two parties are concerned with is power. Understanding that is key to keeping this entire campaign season in perspective, and hopefully that perspective will carry over to election day.