Wednesday, September 16, 2015
And this new poll just announced ...
There is new Election 2016 poll data released every five minutes. While it's moderately entertaining -it is a generally mindless activity.
If as much attention was devoted to understanding the stated positions of the candidates, how their stated positions align with voting patterns and who is funding them we would be reasonably informed by the time we needed to cast our ballot (provided we have not already been disenfranchised by those state and local governments that are controlled by Republicans -or we disenfranchise ourselves for the GOP by not engaging in the process).
Instead we now seem to have a system by which "Candidate X" says something outrageous -everyone offended by "Candidate X" demands an apology -and the results of a new poll is published showing the impact of "Candidate X's" statement.
This is coupled with the fact that (and already in early voting states) millions of dollars are flowing in to purchase political ads and commercials which allows you to fundamentally say anything -repeatedly.
For example imagine a dark political ad (I know it's a stretch):
Screen is black -then slowly the image of a hungry young child appears. A voice-over begins "How many times did candidate Y vote to support a Hungry Children initiative? ... zero times." Screen fades again to black with a "Paid for by the Citizens Against Child Hunger." Subsequently a new poll showing Candidate X gaining ground and Candidate Y slipping. What is lost is that there is no "Hungry Children initiative" (because it may have been called "Healthy Families" or many other reasons) and "Citizens Against Child Hunger" may really be an industry group led by Monsanto, WalMart and/or the Koch brothers.
The manner in which we elect candidates to represent our interests at all levels is deeply flawed. Would you hire a personal assistant to work in your home without interviewing them, checking references and gaining insight as to how they will help you? When we vote to elect a representative -the consequences of poor choices are much higher. Poor choices in representation can lead to invading the wrong country, raising taxes on the poor and working class -while lowering them for the obscenely wealthy, eliminating environmental regulations meant to protect our air, water and forests; eliminating worker rights and protections, appointing people to our courts that believe that justice is for those who can afford it.
We must demand a thorough examination of candidates for local, state and federal office. A series of 100's of hours of checking voting patterns (or other candidate history) and how they align with stated positions and grading them. Providing detailed, transparent disclosure information on how the candidates are funded. And once the field has been reduced to a manageable number -then a series of debates.
Polling every five minutes is nothing more than another distraction -meant to shift us from demanding a deep examination. There is no substance. The polling emperor is wearing no clothes.