Archive for March, 2016

The Embarrassment of Political Theater


When I was young the “grown-ups” would study candidates, learning about their views and how they’d vote if they were elected. Now we have the misfortune of having the court’s jesters paraded out on stage and encouraged to be as outlandish as possible to get attention and votes.

I’m not saying there hasn’t always been a certain amount of mudslinging and horse trading amongst candidates and delegates. If you think politics in this country was ever like that you’re more of a Pollyanna than I. Certainly there is a time and a place for calling-out someone when you disagree with the way they voted or handled things.

But at what point did we abandon common sense and a shred of decency for political theater?

My guess is that it happened somewhere around the same time as when the news stopped delivering the news. It is practically impossible to find a source for straight, unbiased current events. Every channel has a slant and political viewpoint. Most stations seem unapologetic and downright brazen.

TV Anchors no longer deliver the news, they’re reporting stories from a perspective that they want you to share. It is pointed. It is shameful. We’ve turned away from having the news delivered to us in a way that we can have a discussion and form our own opinions.

Now we get persuasive sound-bites on social media.

When I was growing up people didn’t wear their political opinions on their sleeves. Those opinions (like religion) were not discussed in polite company. In fact, one time my mother wouldn’t even tell me who she voted for; she claimed voting was a personal, sacred, duty. Now it’s hard not to know how people think. Politics and government have become a polarizing and divisive topic.

Shame on us, America.

So to all of the candidates, regardless of party affiliation, how about a return to reality? Whatever level of office you seek, it’s up to you to get your message across. We don’t care about your height or what size gloves you wear. Tell me how you’ll lead our country.

We all deserve reality, not a reality show.