With elections less than a month away, television audiences will be pummeled by an ever-increasing number of political ads, some cute with requisite dog, baby or family scenes and some not so much.

I thought I’d comment on just one: the “grumpy old men.” It’s the ad where we see locally elected elder officials dripping with gravitas and swearing their allegiance to country over party, and thus apparently voting for the superior candidate from the other political party. Sounds great. Shouldn’t we all be doing this?

And there’s a comment about the candidate showing guts by not supporting the leadership of the Democratic Party, specifically Nancy Pelosi. Wonderful.

But do these sagacious local leaders have a clue about how Washington, D.C., really works? Loyalty to party leadership is paramount to obtaining a seat on preferred committees and subcommittees where the real work of Congress is done. Toeing the line is necessary to improve one’s chances of getting on these committees. And toeing the line will require supporting the general direction of one’s party. With the Democratic Party continuing to move left, even socialist, a vote for the Democratic candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives is a vote for a significant swing to the left in our national leadership. If the “grumpy old men” desire such a swing, then they’re doing the appropriate thing.

It’s unfortunate that at times good local people who wish to serve the country get entrapped by the way the national political scene works. But truly, “it is what it is.”

Personally, I feel we have two well-qualified candidates, neither being a classic “yellow dog” candidate. Bottom line: Vote appropriately, given one’s national direction.

Howie Herbert

Lazy River Drive

Charleston