The maudlin theatrics, histrionics, and dramatics – oh, my! The tension, the anxiety, the tearful speeches, and patriotic declarations. My country ‘tis of thee, sweet land of frivolity, of thee I plead: Who will win? Who will lose? Who cares?
Haven’t we been at this campaigning business enough already? The 2008 presidential election is still far enough away that those who get pregnant tomorrow could nurse their newborn in the voting booth.
Shoved down our throats under the guise of keeping the voter informed, this campaign business has been going on for so long now, it’s nothing more than an excuse to keep the names of some people — who aren’t even in the running — in the spotlight. Yes, media and media whores and the people who feed you, I’m talking to you.
What’s actually getting accomplished? From having decided Obama is black enough — or white enough, whatever the hell that’s about — to replaying how watery Clinton’s eyes will get when she pulls hair from her nose, nothing is being offered up in the way of relevant information.
Recording and broadcasting almost every public moment of their lives and digging up every insignificant detail about every candidate until Britney Spears snapped from getting less relative attention has served no viable purpose. All that commentary, all those opinion pieces, all this hype – and for what?
All that time away from your family and all that work for “the one” could be wiped out by one fatal or debilitating accident or even by a candidate getting a grip at the last minute and saying, “I’ve had it with you people” – and then where will you be? What will you do with your free time then? What will replace the drug of choice you now call “covering the election” or “following the race”?
There isn’t an election yet, and we’re so far past what passes for a “race” that we can’t even call it a marathon. What will you do with your OCD the day after the elections are held?
The voters, whether they’ve volunteered to lock themselves in with a campaign or not will still not cast their vote until November. Those who have already decided aren’t going to change their mind – or anyone else’s mind. Fence-riders are notorious for switching at the last minute regardless of what they said last year or even two months ago.
I assert there are much better ways to spend our time in this life than dumping it into someone else’s (ever read Co-Dependent No More – anyone?). I’ve received no answer to the question I’ve posed to every candidate: If elected, will you propose and follow up on legislation that allows a person to announce their candidacy no sooner than 90 days before election day, that will allow a candidate to hit the campaign trail no sooner than 89 days before election day, and that will allow them to use no more than $10,000 of their own money to campaign without funding from anyone or anything else?
Granted, this means the easily obsessed, multi-tasking, overachieving, type-A personalities would have to find something else to do. That “something else” might be more frightful than this determination to overthrow every form of media and ad space with their brand of “news” and invade every telephone poll that has room for one more nail, but it’s worth a try.
It would also mean we’d get 89 days of the real deal. No more months and months of this and then more months and months of that. No more vindictive, hateful holding patterns aimed at keeping a weary public’s attention. They’d have to say it and do it or get off the pot, as it were. That’s 89 opportunities (not almost 890) to get right to the point instead of engaging in one passive-aggressive litany after another.
With less than three months to get into the White House, who has time to sling barbs? With that, the media’s reporting material is cut in half. Hooray, we might actually find out what’s going on with the rest of the world.
Who knows, we might even get a candidate out of it we can all agree on – and wouldn’t that be something? It’d at least be something else.