What Americans allow themselves to be put through to choose a president, or any elected office it seems, is, to coin a cable pundit, batcrap crazy. The insane machinations Americans put themselves through to elect governing officials in general, and presidents specifically, has become an odd embodiment of some twisted manifest destiny of entertainment/politics/professional wrestling.
Don’t get me wrong, not a single country has ever existed without some sense of national destiny or purpose. Manifest Destiny ( a phrase used by leaders and politicians in the 1840s to explain continental expansion by the United States) in this case however means that our national purpose has us becoming pawns of the entertainment industry and politicians.
Hundreds of millions of dollars were spent this election cycle in a gutless, contemptuous effort to stimulate hatred and resentment from both republicans and Democrats. Deciding for whom we would individually vote should be a process that in truth should take about a month. Instead, it’s a never-ending cycle so that these idiots who know nothing about economics, very little about life as an average American, and take more time off than Santa Claus can dramatically affect our lives, both present and future.
But in order to make the hundreds of millions of dollars in the advertising and campaigning thqt elections bring, we have been manipulated into a process that entails two years of unrelenting, disgusting mind-warfare. This season has been a blitz of venomous media messaging that is physically dangerous and literally divides families. It is a continuous civil war.
And like the chicken and the egg logic dilemma, I can’t decide who is more to blame; politicians or the media. But the damage to America’s worldwide image has become irrelevant, our sense of decency and fair play has become meaningless, and the American psyche has been irrevocably broken in the name of election coverage.
For instance, right now all over the country you could find:
- People stocking up on canned goods and ammo for the apocalypse they believe will come if President Obama is re-elected.
- People planning moves to other countries (Ecuador and Panama seem to be the odds-on favorite for now) if Romney is elected.
- Regular church-going attendees filled with hate, conspiracy fears and who-knows what other manifestations of paranoia and schizophrenia over the November 6th election.
- Entire online chat communities of liberals, conservatives or libertarians fighting, arguing, name-calling, and paying for the privilege to watch 24/7 coverage of the campaigns while arguing over literally everything.
For the broadcast news business to be “successful” viewers need to be not only be paying attention to our political melodramas, they have to be in an complete craze and personally invested in them. They are physically and psychologically defined in the day-to-day nuances and frenetically anxious to see what happens next; and I don’t mean the next day. I mean next hour.
And the folks who’ve subjected themselves to 720 successive days of party line half-truths is likely to take bad news, well, badly, regardless of whether it’s a victory for Obama or for Romney. As of today, October 18th, 2012, the networks have spent two years devising new ways every single damn day to persuade these otherwise sane, balanced Americans that the world is going to fall to pieces into some dire, cataclysmic, purgatory unless they catch the next hour of programming (and the advertising that comes along for the ride of course).
Yes—It Does Matter
Now, of course it’s important who is elected to become America’s next president. There have 43 individual men(as I live and breathe, someone will challenge me on THAT number) who served as US President as of 2008. It is often said that President Barack Obama is the 44th President of the United States of America. However, President Obama is only the 43rd different person to serve as President of the United States. This is due to the fact that President Grover Cleveland served non-consecutive terms and so is usually counted as both the 22nd and the 24th President, ok out there?
Moreover, it’s perfectly legitimate for the members of the “media” to advocate for the candidate we think is more capable. But seriously, the hype has gotten so unruly, it’s become bigger than the presidency itself. In practically every contest, there are not two but three dominate figures; the Democrat, the Republican and The Production.
We have not only an entire NEW generation think The Process sucks far more than either of the party candidates. Mostly for callous business reasons, the media now manipulate people to stay hoped-up on hate, anger, and fear. It’s their primary goal to make sure that as much of the public as possible is focused, and hopefully obsessed, on the races. They are not only unsympathetic to how much this depresses the hell out of everybody, they deliberately rob people of their nationalism and their desire to vote.
If The Process is so Clearly Wrong, How Good Can our Candidates Be?
I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more comedic group of Republican primary candidates in my life. From 999 to campus crusader to, well, Mitt Romney, they all seemed batcrap crazy. The only one who did not seem looney was Jon Huntsman, and he was so calm and reasonable he would have been accused of not being a citizen had he lasted much longer in the primaries. And this batcrap craziness is one of the main reasons we aren’t seeing worthwhile candidates come forward any more. You either have to sell your soul to the (insert Kochs, Adelsons, Trumps, Norquists, etc., of the world), or be batcrap out of luck and money.
If done sensibly, and god knows America doesn’t want anything to be sensible, American voters would come out of presidential elections joyous, maybe even resolved to take an active role in their local races. As it is now, many, if not most, of us come out of the election worn out, physically and mentally. I come across a few every day in desperate need of a couple of Valiums. And these are just the voters. Others are resolute to spend the next two months in seclusion, afraid to even turn a television on, or answer a ringing telephone, or check their email, or take their tin foil hat off for fear of being confronted by another donation request, poll-taker, or neighbor asking their opinion on some political subject.
What makes us feel so overwhelmingly pessimistic about our country, is the manner in which the media encourages us to accept as a fundamental truth that our fate will be determined by promise-breaking, incurably inadequate liars in our nation’s capital. The country’s mood was bad enough because of the 2008 financial crisis. But 2010 brought a Congress rife disrespectful, rowdy, untrustworthy nuts bent on obstruction of everything unless they got everything their way. And there was the entertainment moguls forcing their “news” divisions to fan the flames. Television “news” hasn’t a shred of credibility left. It might have started with FOX, but it’s infected them all. The internet has always been a fool’s playground, but print and now digital media has come in with both feet, and it’s ugly. And along with that ugliness comes the repulsiveness with which the rest of the world sees. And of course they fear us. To the rest of the world, we are like Iran…uncontrollable, unpredictable, half-looney, and armed to the teeth. The only difference is we are considered fat, lazy and ignorant to boot.
And that’s unfortunate. Feeling optimistic shouldn’t require turning off the television or avoiding your laptop, or staying secluded from your friends and family because they don’t agree with your political opinions.
After all, we should be observing the world’s greatest contest for power. An iconic moment in history that we should remember as a symbol of freedom and pride to show the rest of the world.
Instead, what we will be watching is Bill O’Reilly or Ed Shultz screams at us; or watch Joe Scarborough bullying Mika around and if unable to do so, crossing his arms in his lap like a spoiled little boy who didn’t get his way. Or watching a candidate’s spoiled wife who has led a rich a privileged life whining about how her husband is working so hard to become the leader of the free world, and dammit it’s their “turn”. One poor pundit was crucified for suggesting said candidate’s wife had never worked a day. Hell, I go further and bet she never changed a diaper, fixed a daily meal, pumped her own gasoline or cleaned any room in any of her multitude of houses. Poor thing.
Huh. Ecuador is sounding better all the time.
¡gracias mis amigos