What a disappointment the 2010 election season has been!! Several estimates have placed campaign spending at around $4 billion…making this the most expensive mid-term election ever in the United States. But then…most analysts predict that this figure will be easily eclipsed by spending in the next Presidential election year in 2012. And…what did we get for that huge amount of money? Unfortunately, we got almost nothing but attack ads…from Republicans, Democrats, Tea Party candidates, etc. How sad!
Sure…if you really want to know what a candidate proposes on the issues, you can find it…after a while, and with considerable effort. Candidates no longer spend their money telling you about what they want to do…they and their supporters spend massive amounts of money telling you how much you need to fear or disrespect their opponent. Certainly…negative ads have always been part of our election culture…but now, it seems the percentage of negative appeals in campaigning is trending toward 100%. This is a different election culture than we had just a relatively short time ago.
And then…we need to talk about the complicity of the media…sheesh!! Don’t depend on the 24/7 popular media to create or sustain a healthy balance…they push our truly important issues aside instantly to cover every nuance of the latest attack or slightest political error. Our news media these days is focused on entertainment and political spin rather than in-depth, rigorous research. Some cable news groups provide a variety of political spins…thinking that is a balanced approach…but none but PBS actually provides a probing, research-approach in reporting.
It’s not good for our country…and most of us know that. It took a comedian last weekend to make the most poignant comments about this political reality…and why does it take a comedian like Jon Stewart to tell us the truth? Have you seen his final speech…it is totally outstanding! I’m no push over…but I was so impressed! I don’t care if you’re a Democrat…Republican…Independent…Libertarian…Tea Party…or Green Party…you know there’s something deeply wrong in our current election culture. This video of his final comments are worth your time…trust me! Here is the Comedy Central link to Jon Stewart’s concluding remarks:
So…let’s decide right now. No matter who wins or loses in this election…2010, never again!
Let’s decide to do whatever it takes to change how we run campaigns in America. And remember…we can’t depend on our political parties…or our politicians…or the pundits…or talk radio entertainers…or the 24/7 media to change anything. They’re making lots of money on this current, dysfunctional system. This…we need to decide as citizens…2010, never again!
Let’s shock them all by discussing our unhealthy and unsustainable campaign culture in a civil and productive way. We’ll replace the noise of negative ads and distractions of tabloid reporting with meaningful discussions of the real issues. But…we need to decide now…2010, never again!
Say it…share it…mean it! 2010, never again!!
To see a YouTube video of this call to action by my alter-ego, Giarc Glenwalker, in the virtual world of Second Life, use this link:
I’ve already decided…2010, never again!! Now, it’s your turn!