Friday, February 15, 2008

Non-rugby political rant

I've been absolutely OBSESSIVE about this years presidential election. I must have 20 tickers in my blog folder - CNN, MSNBC, Fox, Savage Politics, Politico, Media Matters, Real Clear Politics, Radical Left, Slate, Salon.

I can't get enough. It's not so much the candidates or the articles themselves that facinate me - it's the comments. Talk about mud-slinging! These people are RUTHLESS. If I were to look at the negative comments only and if I actually believed them then:

Hillary Clinton is the Devil in a pantsuit
Barack Obama is either the second coming of JC (OR the anti-Christ)
John McCain is Ghengis Khan, Alexander, and Hannibal all rolled up into one.

Then there is the behavior of the so called "surrogates" - and there are close, trusted surrogates (mostly family members and close advisors) as well as far distant surrogates. Basically, these are people who say the things the candidates can't get away with saying without being slammed for "going negative". Often candidates are accused of having "positioned" a surrogate to say something, when the reality is that said surrogate probably just spoke their mind. It's like a giant Junior High game of he said/she said.

And it's out of control.

If you click through PAST the news articles and blog posts, to the links that the commenter's have put in the post, it gets even crazier. For example, there is a theory out there that the Republicans are SAYING that Barack Obama will be harder to beat then Hillary Clinton, in order to stimulate Dems to vote for him. The logic here is that republican insiders actually think he'll be easier to beat, so are trying to influence the nominating process.

There is the theory that Karl Rove is pushing independents and non-registered republicans to go out and vote in the democratic primary in order to ensure that the Republicans can run against the Democrat of their (republicans) choice.

There are as many conspiracy theories out there on the flip side too. It's almost impossible to ignore the spin... I can't even count the times that a headline has got my attention, and when I read the article, I learn that the headline was a load of misleading crap.

Where am I going with this? I've been reading some disturbing stuff in a lot of these comments, some real elitist BS. Basically the so-called reality is that, "educated people & people with high income" are voting for one candidate, and "working class people & people with low income" are voting for another. The conclusion that is being drawn in the media and amongst the commenter's is that "you must be stupid to vote for .... ".

Seriously? Isn't it the JOB of the most powerful person in the nation to help people who need it the most? Is it a bad thing for poor people and less educated people to pick you? I mean, maybe it sounds sort of communist, but shouldn't our leader be a champion for those that have less and need more? Really, in a country like ours, founded by immigrants who were craving for religious freedom, populated by people who were once slaves, by native American's who were driven from their homes, by political and economic refugees, where theoretically everyone is equal, haven't we learned anything?

All I know is I'm incredibly disappointed by our media making headlines out of non-events, creating conflict when there isn't any, and telling us who to choose.

1 Comment:

Em said...

Is it a bad thing for poor people and less educated people to pick you?

It's bad when they're voting for an ideology and against their own interests. Not b/c they're stupid, b/c you don't need to be educated to vote intelligently, but rather informed. When you're poor, you usually don't have the time or money to access a variety of information and inform yourself. You get only a little from the most available source, the TV or maybe the radio. And when is the last time you were impressed with the accuracy and depth of coverage on the TV news? Soundbites are misleading b/c of the shallow information and ready lending towards bias, and in a culture where political knowledge is disseminated through them, it is disturbingly easy to vote for someone with positions completely opposite what would actually benefit your life in this country. B/c you don't know!

I think that's more of a story than the obsessive demographic polling that purports to tell us that poor/uneducated/blue-collar/whatever are voting for candidate X. What would improve the lives of this demographic, and are candidate X's positions in agreement with those needs? If they aren't (and many times they're not), then what you have is an information gap, which to me means that media is picking on a group that they failed to properly inform in the first place.