The Election Circus | Veterans Today
With this year’s crucial election less than a week away, it has become painfully clear that the winners and losers will be decided by the least qualified voters. Misdirection, lies and deceit are nothing new in politics, but have recently been elevated to an art form.
The electorate is divided into three main groups and subdivided into a few minor ones. About one third of the voters are hard core Republicans and one third hard core Democrats. It does not matter who their party nominates, they will vote for him or her. If the Republicans ran Hitler and the Democrats ran Stalin, each would be guaranteed one third of the vote simply by their party affiliation. The remaining one third is who decides those elections that are legitimately run. This third breaks down into left and right leaning people, those who choose based on the candidate, not the party, the one issue voter (abortion, gun control, etc.) and the totally clueless. The clueless are the real targets of all of the campaigning, political ads, and the so called debates. Winning over the “low information voter” is the key to victory.
Every four years we are subjected to what are euphemistically called “the presidential debates.” Any similarity between what goes on at these events and a real debate is purely coincidental. If you want to read what a real political debate is like, read transcripts of the Lincoln – Douglas debates when they were running for the Senate. What are now being presented are, at best, a joint press conference and that is being generous. The formats are negotiated between the campaigns; the “moderator” is given a list of acceptable questions and the candidates rehearse the answers. Even the supposed town meeting format is carefully controlled. They get a group of people who claim to be undecided. By that point in the campaign, if you are truly undecided, you are an idiot. The candidates have laid out what they want the public to believe about their plans and those positions are not likely to change. (Romney is saying different things now, but that is just for show)
If you believe that Obama is a Marxist Muslim from Kenya, nothing he can say will change that opinion. Likewise, if you believe that Romney got rich by laundering drug money for Mexican cartels, you are unlikely to suddenly support his candidacy. The “debates” are treated like sporting events by the media with points given for “zingers,” style, and wit. These “ad libs” have been carefully crafted by writers and tested on focus groups prior to being said by the candidate. (One of the more famous quips was made by Ronald Reagan when asked if age should be a consideration and he said that his opponent’s youth and lack of experience should not be held against him. He then grinned that he got the line out correctly. His speechwriters knew that the question would be asked as that was constantly being mentioned in the news and he was given the canned response which he delivered convincingly) By these criteria, Jay Leno or David Letterman should be president.
Very little attention is paid to the content of what the candidates say about the real issues and only the Republican and Democratic candidates are allowed to appear, thus limiting any real content from being presented. There are many sports references: scoring points, hitting a home run, rematch, etc. It is more of a game with a winner and loser, not a platform to learn anything about the candidates’ positions.
After the first “debate” this year, it was generally…………