This time next year we will have elected a new President of the United States.
Yes, it is time for everyone to get serious. Barring any last-minute hanging chad issues, we should all be able to sit down around our Thanksgiving dinner and pass grandma’s dressing and lick our respective political wounds.
What I’m hoping is between now and then, we get a bit more serious about the election process for the most powerful elected office in the world. Regardless of your political party, you’ve got to admit this year’s cycle is turning into a convoluted reality show featuring candidates with the character depth of a Saturday morning cartoon.
For the first time in my life, I’m finding myself longing for a ballot choice marked “none of the above.”
Concerning to me is the continued move to polarizing and pandering political positions across the board. No one party owns this strategy. But the downside is how these actions suck the air out of the political spectrum once occupied by those of more moderate views. Politics is growing more and more, for a lack of a better word, mean.
Growing up it was a given people held different opinions when it came to politics. Even in our own home, my parents would return from voting and joke how they’d canceled each other out at the local ballot box. In our neighborhood, people voted in their own way, but never publicly displayed contempt for those who didn’t.
But something seems to have changed with this election. With the wider range of fragmented media – from endless cable channels to social media tools – there seems to be a poisonous flavor permeating the political posturing of this presidential election season. Maybe I’m naive, but I find it hard to believe candidates believe many of the extreme positions they expound from the campaign trail. Pick a side and you’ll easily find ‘chicken in every pot’ promises – promises any reasonable person easily recognizes as a transparent play of something that can’t possibly be delivered. But to question or disagree is to be socially exorcized by those who blindly follow.
As the game of politics continues to increasingly become a game of money, the two major political parties seem to be losing control of their soul to base in order to secure funding. The Republican Party is now solidly under the control of the socially conservative faction – the Democratic Party increasingly under the influence of the liberal spectrum. If this were the shower faucet it would be like having to choose between scalding hot or skin-numbing cold water. The option of anything in the middle is increasingly off limits.
My hope is by the time we all sit down to Thanksgiving next year we’ll have sorted out this ridiculous cast of one-dimensional characters and found a way to select a candidate of worth, value, and conviction rooted in doing what is best for our nation instead of a polarizing political position. One turkey for Thanksgiving is enough, thank you.