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Fighting in the Dirt

1 November 2010

Project Vote Smart, CNN and prominent national leaders of both parties completed the 2010 National Political Courage Test to measure each congressional candidate’s bravado, tenacity and eagerness to avoid public scrutiny.

After being aggressively approached by citizens and national media pressing candidates on crucial issues, a record 64% of the candidates stood their ground in square-jawed, steely-eyed silence. The other 36% ran into the arms of their tormentors, pleading for cover as they told voters what they actually thought.

The Courage Test has been conducted each election year since 1992, when an overwhelming number of candidates, weak with freedom’s sentimentality, imprudently surrendered their positions on issue after issue at the request of voters and test sponsors.

This year (after clobbering each candidate with questions on jobs, foreign policy, the economy, education, the environment, immigration, and other issues confronted by the nation) Courage Test organizers demonstrated that this crop of candidates set a new standard for the kind of toughness and duplicity that moves the nation forward at its current levels of civility, reason and responsibility.

A half century ago, no candidate was courageous enough or cunning enough to avoid answering questions on major issues when confronted by citizens and major media. Then candidates simply lacked the strength of character necessary to turn away when confronted by principle.
Today candidates of both major parties march in lock step behind their armies of consultants paving the road to election victory.  It isn’t just this dashing crop of candidates that are showing their pluck, it is the major parties too: both parties have organized their battalions so successfully that they can easily overwhelm citizens and media with nothing more than a bucket full of poppycock, saving their most potent weapons in a selfless effort to campaign on behalf of their opponents--clearly delineating their opposite positions on everything from issues to their personal habits.

With each election candidates lower the bar and now we find ourselves all fighting in the dirt. This successful domination of citizens is a remarkable achievement, particularly when the remedy of abundant, accurate, relevant information is well within their grasp. For test results and the facts on the candidates you will vote

- Richard Kimball, Project Vote Smart President 

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