The election season is upon us again, or perhaps it has never left us but is just starting to reach its crescendo again. In our local communities there are elections for the mayor and the school board superintendent. At a state level it may be your state representatives or the governor itself. On a national level it may be for positions in Congress or more importantly for the Presidency of the United States.
It seems to be one big election that never ends. Nothing really changes. There is always an incumbent and the challenger. Both are making campaign promises that they can’t accomplish, or campaign promises that they will not have the sole authority to achieve. Hello! Yes we have a president, but we also have Congress. There’s no dictatorship here. No man is an island.
It is also that time of year when the political signs appear throughout our neighborhood landscapes. There’s a lot of blue with a smathering of red. It’s that time of year when your neighbors publicly announce who they are voting for. Sometimes it feels like there is a contest for how many signs political parties can put on an advantageous corner. At one particular corner, close to where I live, I counted twenty-eight signs. Unfortunately, I couldn’t tell you what any one of them said because all I could see is this plethora of blue. I ask what is the sense of this? Do these candidates think that if I notice their sign it will impact how I vote? All they really are doing is polluting the scenery, which is ruining one of my favorite pastimes as I drive to and from work.
Are they presenting the signs to remind me of their names? How could I not know their names? Their names are being discussed on every news broadcast show. Their names are in the headlines of the newspapers. Their names are included in the jokes of comedians and in political cartoons. I would be hiding under a rock if I didn’t know their names. And if I am hiding under a rock, I probably won’t be voting anyway. And if I am a voter, these signs are just an insult to my intelligence.
Soon we will see the backbiting commercials brought to you by [insert any candidate name]. I just can’t seem to get away from all of this rubbish. It has invaded my second most favorite past time, which is watching a little TV in the evening. Who really watches these commercials? If I am not a voter I probably don’t care and take these commercials as an opportunity to take a bio-break. If I am a voter from the same political party I might watch the ad, but what good is that? The candidate already has my vote. If I am a voter from the opposing party it is unlikely there is nothing you can say in a one minute commercial that is going to cause me to change my mind. In fact, seeing these commercials over and over just irritates me. For me the answer is Tivo. With Tivo I am not forced to sit through these ads. With one touch of a button on my remote and I zip past the commercials and settle back into the show I am watching. Thank goodness for Tivo. Love it!
So, I have a little advice for the candidates for the upcoming elections. Forget the signs. Forget the commercials. Forget the orchestrated debates. Quit wasting your time and my time. Save your money. Donate it to an organization helping children, who will be the voters of tomorrow. And instead, just talk to the people. No games. No conniving. Just straight talk. Tell the people what you can do for them, and I do mean you and only you. Let’s get real. And quit treating the voters as if they were idiots.