The time is nearly upon us...now that the pleasant heart-warming holidays are past...the horrid time of the political race has descended!
Don't get me wrong - I absolutely embrace the process of the people choosing their leaders. I believe that all citizens have a right AND a responsibility to gather knowledge and vote. I just cringe at the prospect of the campaigning. Especially now that any group can put 30 second ads on TV without regard to pesky details like facts and ethics.
I spent some time discussing the campaign process with a good friend who is a long-time teacher of high school government classes. Which, I was pleased to hear, is still a required course to graduate. I asked him if he thought that there were high school students interested in government and/or politics. And he assured me that although there is still a good percentage of youth that only learn enough to pass the class - there are a growing number of students who have a real desire to see government perform the key functions that it must perform in society. (not everyone agrees on what those key functions are...)
And we discussed what we both agree is a major problem in the political process - television advertising. In my opinion, if ALL political television advertising was eliminated the benefits would be tremendous. First of all, it would eliminate a huge cost to political campaigns - thereby eliminating some of the need for fund raising (which distracts all of our current political leaders from DOING their jobs). The decision to pour millions of dollars into thirty second ads is only making network owners rich. And although advertising is required to be sold at deep discount (the same price as for a most-favored regular advertiser) - the dollars spent are significant.
Secondly, it would force the voting public to actually educate themselves on the positions of the candidates instead of relying upon sound bites and half-truths from opposing camps. Truthfully, it frightens me that there are people voting who haven't picked up a newspaper or watched a debate. I would favor some sort of poll test: if you can't name the current president, secretary of state, your governor and a city councilman...you don't get to vote. You're too stupid. That will be an unpopular idea. I believe I have just eliminated political office from my future.
And lastly - we the American public could enjoy Wheel of Fortune without the mud-slinging. "Vote for Joe Bob, he loves old people and will create jobs and put a chicken in every pot." immediately followed by "Don't vote for Joe Bob, he was caught "loving" a senior citizen, he's creating jobs by putting teen girls on street corners and the chickens he wants to put in every pot are tainted by salmonella because he wants to cut the budget of the USDA." "Joe Bob supports your 2nd amendment rights" "Joe Bob wants criminals to be able to carry concealed weapons into church day care facilities"
Stop the insanity. For the month of October I think I'll move to Canada.
Thank God for DVR...not only can I fast forward through what I don't want to see...I'm recording and watching more of the debates than I usually would. Education is key.