This coming Tuesday is election day…Thank the government gods! While I appreciate, and highly respect our right to choose the people we send to run our governments, I absolutely loathe the drawn out, ugly, backbiting, dishonest, outlandish process of campaigning.
My radio, television, mailbox both virtual and the e-version has been inundated with pleas for donations, trash talk about the president, or the affordable care act, neither of which have anything to do with the jobs most of these people want to hold. There’s also half truths about things they supposedly accomplished while in office, how horrifically more inept the opponent is than they. All while trying to make themselves look like they are the answer to all governmental problems. There’s the ominous music playing in the background, when talking about that ebil opponent, and the angelic choirs when talking about the good candidate you should be voting for. There’s the usual patriotic imagery bandied about. There is all the requests for donations so that we can see, or hear even more of this wonderfully amazing solicitations for our votes.
What do we get as a result? Here are a few examples.
We have a candidate in my state, running for US senate. His campaign has been carefully crafted to say nothing about his past political history, nor his past and/or current domestic woes, including a past conviction and jail time. I think he believes holding an adorable baby while talking will trigger the awww factor and distract from the fact that he just spent 30 seconds droning on about nothing substantial. The baby is adorable. The distraction doesn’t work.
PACs run adds on the ESPN networks for a candidate who is running in only one state. During a weekend, the damn thing ran at every other commercial during a football game. I don’t live in New York state, so I don’t care about that candidates supposed stance on gun laws.
And then the foot in mouth disease that is apparent with some candidates is beginning to become epidemic in proportion. I really have to wonder if some states are so desperate to get candidates that they pick anyone willing and with a pulse, sanity is optional.
I firmly believe that how political campaigns are run is ineffective and lacking any information that would help people make an intelligent and informed decision. We are hiring people for a short term job. There are better ways to discover which person is apt for the task. Like each candidates’ websites, especially if they list where they stand on relevant issues. There are also information about candidates at local party headquarters, well as well as all sorts of information at state, local and federal websites that list who all the candidates are, how incumbents have voted in the past.
I also believe who they are married to, what religious preference they are, and who they list as political allies is less important than how they feel about the budgets they will help manage, the needs of their districts and how to solve problems in the short and long terms, and trying to adequately meet the needs of all people in that district. I also feel they need to be willing to work together with people who hold different ideologies and ditch the petty partisanship.
There is a lot I’d change about how we elect people if I got to run things. But I don’t get to do that. I do however get to vote, which I will be doing, likely cancelling out the votes of my husband. He’s a conservative, I lean very liberal. We we both agree on this. To care about our community and the people chosen to run it, is motivation enough to be part of the process. So we will be voting on Tuesday. I hope you will as well.
Besides, after Tuesday all those political campaign ads will magically disappear…for maybe a couple of weeks. There’s another election in two years. Some candidates insist on getting an early start.