The campaign to become the next occupant of the Oval Office is in full swing. Unless you’ve completely isolated yourself from television, from the internet, from politics, from life you’re already aware that aspirants – to become presidents – from both parties (Democrat and Republican) are already crisscrossing the country to woo – most likely lure – constituents for their support.
On the Republican side, there will be enough candidates to form a soccer team with backup players on the bench (just kidding, but seriously candidates are coming from all corners); on the Democrat side however, you’d be lucky if you can form a basketball team, let alone have spare players on the bench.
Already this early in the fierce game of “which team will win the Oval Office?” fans have already lined up behind their respective team, cheering up the players, chanting songs of encouragement and praying their wish comes true: for their team to win. That is unfortunately the sad reality of politics in America; constituents deal with elections much like sport fans behave at a ballgame. Not much thought is given to it, not much time is dedicated for it. Elections are dealt with much like an item to check off from a list, and yet the constituents are puzzled why Washington is so corrupt, so dysfunctional. The answer is very simple, one only needs to look in the mirror.
While most sport fans know that not all games are the same, the American constituents have always used the same approach to electing a President (and other official Representatives): simply vote for their party, and yet they are puzzled why Washington is so corrupt, so dysfunctional. The constituents have yet to realize that to elect someone to occupy the Oval Office should be a sacred duty performed with the utmost reverence; it should have been the most difficult choice to make in life. It should be a choice made with the heavy burden of the future generations in mind. It should be a choice made in the shadow of fear for, to make the wrong choice does carry long lasting consequences, not just in theory. The election and re-election of George W. Bush – the latest examples of what it means to simply pick the candidate which belongs to a party (your party) versus to pick a candidate who would best benefit the country – are constant reminders that the process of electing someone to the highest office of the land should not be an exercise of supporting a party.
Many before me have warned of such danger, and yet the process of electing a President has gone from bad to worst. The team players (those who run for office), the coaches (those who are campaign managers), the support team (those who provide assistance to the players, the coaches) and the medics (those who spend time defending the players, relaying messages and performing damage control) have all made the conscious decision to ignore the rules of the game; they
- Solicit campaign contributions from mega donors, foreign entities in exchange for future favors
- Put obstacles to prevent a group from voting
- Dig up dirt on opponents
- Run a mudslinging campaign
- Avoid debating real issues to offer a solution
If all that sounds (and/or feels) overwhelming, it is. In fact, it’s much, much worst. In a distant past, the constituents could rely on the media to sort through those types of issues. It was a time when journalists used to live by journalistic ethics; it was a time when pressing politicians for solutions – instead of sound bites – was good journalism. And Fox Opinion (known by most as Fox News Network) was born; Fox Opinion management made a clever business move and killed journalism at the same time; instead, Fox Management made the decision from the onset that broadcasting is a business first, perhaps journalism afterwards. The will of other networks to “stick to journalism ethics” couldn’t hold in the face of economic pressure; in fact, the will is fading away; gradually, other networks are following Fox Opinion’s footsteps. It is no longer just the players, and the coaches, and the team support and the medics, we now have the cheerleaders, the journalists, some cheering for the team on the left and others for the team on the right.
What does it all mean? We are screwed. The referees are now cheerleaders. Take heart as I promise to provide here in future columns a guide to choosing the next president, sifting through the cheerleaders’ noise.Follow @mducheiney
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