For the past year, I've seen a lot of mudslinging, insinuations, negative campaigning, boorish ranting and dirty tricks. I've seen namecalling, anger, frustration, scandals, propaganda and cartoonish belittling play out on the national stage. And you know what conclusion I've come to? I really like my country around election time. This can be chalked up to a lot of things. A visit to an blog exposes you to ignorance and vitriolic bile. Words like communist and fascist are thrown around so lightly, used so incessantly that I have to question if such phrases even mean anything anymore. The late-night talk shows have become a haven for anti-McCain diatribes. Talk radio has become a sounding board for anti-Obama smears. Neither side has anything more than slavish devotion to their gang colors. I can't hear McCain or Obama's voices anymore without wanting to vomit on reflex. Names like "Joe the Plumber" and Bill Ayers swirl around my mind in a tornado of confusion and talking points. I didn't even know what ACORN was a few weeks ago but now I'm supposed to hate it. Being a POW or a community organizer is a "bad" thing. Defending your opponent as being a fellow patriot gets you booed. I think I know what the problem here is. Remember how in the movie "Anger Management" Jack Nicholson warns that there are two ways of dealing with anger: the first is to let it out frequently so you have cathartic release. The second is to allow it to fester until you snap. I get the distinct feeling the American public deals with politics the second way. We think democracy only happens on Election Day and the rest of the time we're just supposed to sit back and accept how our country is doing. So during the closing of the campaign season, we have four-years of pent-up rage to release over a few weeks, and it comes out like this. Man, I'm going to have to listen to The Temptations' "Ball of Confusion" after work. –Stephen Payne, Editor, Oil and Gas Investor This Week;;