“I Hate Politics”

mark fp_250pxLet me start out by congratulating my Chicago Cubs on taking two out of three in the series over the weekend at Wrigley Field. They beat the St. Louis Cardinals last Friday and Saturday. However, they lost to them on Sunday.

No problem. Us Cubs fans are happy to take the series! The Cardinals suck!

Now…on to the blog!

I think it is very safe for me to say… I HATE POLITICS!

I do not hate politicians. Well, at least not most of them. But I do hate politics in general.

grissom politicsFor the past year, we have been inundated in our community (Cleveland, Tenn.) with political signs all over the street corners, in front of houses, on VW cars, on tractor trailers parked by the greenway and just about anywhere else you could imagine.

Political ads galore in the Cleveland Daily Banner. Not that I dislike the Banner. I am sure they are very happy to see political season coming. They make a ton of money from politicians and their paid advertisements in the paper. I have a lot of friends at the Banner. Rick Norton and Delaney Walker…I am sure you will both be getting a big raise from the ads! Take me to lunch, please!

Social media plays a huge role in whether or not you can get elected in this day and age. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. They all play a part in getting the word out that you think you are the best person for the office.

I, personally, hate to hear a candidate make tons of promises just to get elected. And then when they get in office, they forget about 90 percent of what all they promised.

If you said you were going to do something…and you win…then DO IT!

I dabbled a little bit in politics several years ago. I did not get elected by making promises to people. I did not get elected by making promises to anyone on the school board. Heck…I withdrew my name from the ballot because I was sick of politics…and STILL got elected!

I did get a taste of nasty politics. But Rick Norton, my friend and editor of the Cleveland Banner, got me to overcome my hard feelings and move on. So…I will shut up about that!

The most heated race in our community for the past year or so has been that of Sheriff of Bradley County.

I will say that Eric Watson and Jim Ruth, in my opinion, are both good men.

I was displeased to see the mud-slinging going on in that particular race. I think a lot of folks in our community would agree. However, we all knew it was coming.

Attack ads in the Banner. Heated arguments and finger pointing at political debates. It all played a part in the “dirty politics” that I have grown to dislike very much.

I have a morning radio show on WOOP-FM here in Cleveland. 99.9 FM on your radio dial and all over the world on www.woopfm.com. I am on the radio Thursday and Friday mornings.

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I had the chance to interview both of these gentlemen on several occasions. Eric was always a little easier to interview than Jim. All you had to do with Eric was say hello…and he was good for a five minute speech about how he loved everyone and wanted their vote and would do a good job…yada, yada, yada…

Mr. Ruth, on the other hand, was always more laid back and sort of shy and would not say very much. To the contrast of Mr. Watson, I would talk to Jim for 5 minutes and then HE would say one word. No offense, Mr. Ruth…I think you are a great guy.

I waited until most of the returns have been counted from today’s elections and the early voting count was taken before I wrote this blog.

Just like I thought would happen, Eric Watson will be our next Sheriff in Bradley County. I wish him well. He has a huge responsibility ahead of him.

My only advice to Mr. Watson would be this.

Do not get too big for your britches. Always do what you say you are going to do. Don’t ever forget the people that put you in that office. Love your community. Keep police escorts at all funerals. And for God’s sake…do not promote someone in the department just because you owe them a political favor. Be fair and impartial and do the right thing.

If you listen to “ole Mark”…you will surely get elected again…and again…and again.

But just remember. If you do not follow my advice…there is always someone out there that might just be a little better than you and run against you in four years…and win!

Can you say…Steve Lawson?

Congratulations to Eric Watson and all the candidates on your very well run campaigns! I hope everyone can work together for the good of our community and the great people that live here!!

God Bless All Of YOU!!

Until next time…

Oh, Yes…PS…. PLEASE get those signs off the roads ASAP!! Thanks!

(Love this? Hate it? What’s your opinion? Leave a comment!)


About Mark Grissom

Mark was born on the north side of Chicago in 1964. Raised a Cubs fan by his dad, he never had a chance in life. He moved to Cleveland, Tennessee, in 1988. While he lives closer to Atlanta now, he will never be able to leave the religion of "Cubbie Nation." Baptized as a Cubs fan at the age of five, he has no choice but to live the remainder of his life here on earth in mediocrity at its best!


  1. Take you to lunch? On my salary? How do you feel about bologna and crackers? Even with all those ads …

  2. I took a job at the Cleveland Banner fresh out of college, 2 years before the 1988 sheriff’s race which I covered. That election season was the worst 6 months of my life. Pawns for both candidates called and harassed me at home, at all hours of the night, and of course, all day long. That was before caller ID, so they were real brave. (And they were also the same people carrying badges and guns.) Despite it all, no one then — and no one since — has ever been able to explain to me why people think it is so important who the sheriff is around here. Whatever I missed, I’m glad I did. And yes, good job, Mark; and I agree: those signs have gotta go, but not before those ridiculous looking cars and that eyesore tractor trailer.

  3. Ed Ramsey says:

    Believe it or not…this year’s Primary election season was as quiet as I can ever remember. I’ve been involved in, or covered, just about every election since 1970…and there have been some VERY hot ones. Love your column.

    PS: I was only 2 when I covered that election in 1970…

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