Sunday, July 8, 2012

Advice to politicians (or anyone else), here's how to piss me off. Oh, wait. You already do that!

I hate election years.  I hate dishonesty.  I hate victim consciousness.  I hate passivity.  I hate bullying.

I'm not a political guru.  I don't engage in political banter as a rule.  It's like religion.  Everyone is entitled to their beliefs, and I'm cool with that.  Respect and tolerance are core values.  Just don't shove any of it down my throat.  I'm an adult and am fully capable of making my own decisions, thank you.  I do however, have a strong believe in core values like truth and honesty and working for the highest good.

I don't watch much TV, really just the news, and on a local cable news station at that.  I don't listen to many radio talk shows.  This is as much a personal choice as it is I simply don't have the time in my life to do it.  I do read the news on the internet, follow my favorite sources on Twitter and Facebook and of course, there is e-mail.  I do watch and listen enough to get annoyed.  I know I'm not hearing all the political ads.  The few I do tend to disappoint and appall me.

What I hate most is the negativity.  The blame game.  The skewing of the truth/root cause or ignorance of it.  The absurd amount of time and money spent on telling everyone what the other person failed to do as if they were the unilateral decision maker and did so with the intent of screwing with the people of this country.  There is an entire Congress that is involved in decision making!  There is the fact the administrations prior made some decisions that led us to where we are.  There is the fact we can't control what happens in the rest of the world, despite the fact we seem to think we can, and should.  It's reminiscent of a toddler's egocentricity and belief they are right, everyone else is wrong and the world does and should revolve around them.  It's mine, all mine.  I'm right.  You are wrong.  End of story.

I don't want to know what's wrong with the other guy.  I want to know what YOU are going to do, how exactly you are going to do it and when.  I don't want empty promises that you have no idea if you can execute because you need the support of Congress.  I want honesty.  I don't want biased news reporting or opinion.  I want facts.  I want evidence of those 'facts'.  I don't care what your wife, kids, friends, news organizations or unions or other famous people think.  I want to know how YOU are going to work with the Congress whose political slant and make up is not yet known, to make the life of myself and my children and grandchildren better.  Right here.  In the USA.  Somewhere along the line, it seems the constituents, the real people (read the ones who don't have gazillions of dollars to donate or time to watch all the political ads and talk shows because they work 3 jobs to feed their families), the ones they are supposed to represent became 'the people with the most money'.  Does this really happen?  It seems the ones who have all the money and convince the people that the other guy is 'bad' by way of bad mouthing them essentially elect the leaders of this country.  Is this what our founding fathers intended?  I think not.

My latest annoyance is the emails begging for money.  The idea that he who has the most funds in their campaign war chest will win.  Is this true?  If so, I think I will throw up.  I don't want to live in that world.  Money can't buy love or happiness, this I know for a fact.  It shouldn't buy votes.  It shouldn't buy the privilege and honor of holding the highest office in our country, of being given the right to make the decisions that impact the lives of millions of people from all cross sections of life quite possibly for the rest of their lives.  It shouldn't be he with the most money wins.  I thought it was about the people and the issues of the people!  Not about winning at all costs because we hate or disagree with the other 'guy' so much.  Especially when their guy's choices led to where we are now.  Rome wasn't built in 3 years.  I'm not just speaking of the Bush-Obama issue, this is true of every Presidential and local political election I've ever been exposed to.  It just gets worse each cycle because of the technology available.

I recently donated to the Obama campaign.  Although an independent, I support Obama and most of the Democratic ideals.  My fiance is a huge fan and would absolutely love the opportunity to meet him.  I donated both in support of the President and in an attempt to 'win' dinner with the President for my man.  Know, I didn't donate just for the contest, but it was a bonus possibility.

What I was shocked to discover was that after the 'thanks for donating' email, I get several a week, asking for more money ($3 or more), telling me how much was donated to the Romney campaign and how desperately they need more donations to keep up or they'll lose the election.  Seriously?  Seriously??  The President of the United States' Campaign manager thinks it a good idea to beg for money?  I don't subscribe to Romney's campaign, do they do the same thing?  Is it about the money?!

Dude, you just officially pissed me off.  Hard selling does NOT work with me.  It is a huge turn off.  I am an adult.  I can make decisions.  Peer pressure doesn't work with me.  I'm aware you want donations.  I gave you what I could.  Be grateful.  Maybe send an email every few weeks focused on an issue and an appeal for donations along with it.  Maybe ask me to do something non-monetarily to help the campaign instead in a "How you can help" email, rather then all of them being about 'without your money, the President could lose because Romney is kicking our fundraising ass'.  Focus your efforts on the issues and getting to the people who don't have the money.  THAT is what will get you re-elected.  Don't go to the places you already know you have support, or don't focus only on those places. Go to the people.  The real people.

I know I can unsubscribe from the email list and Twitter feed, and probably will.  At least one of the Twitter feeds does concentrate on issues at hand.  The reality is, I already know what political ideals I agree with.  I already know who I will vote for.  No amount of negative campaigning, appeals for money, news story or otherwise will change my opinion.  I am appalled at the way campaigns are allowed to run in this country.  That grown men and women behave like spoiled children.  That they believe that the one with the most money and able to spin the worst story about the other guy wins and make themselves look amazing without acknowledging running this country is a TEAM effort.  That we allow it to happen this way.

I can't help but wonder what would happen if there were fundraising caps set at a reasonable level, or somehow money spent on campaigns had to be equal and reasonable.  What if there was no negativity allowed?  What if they couldn't say anything about the other person in a negative way?  What if they had to say what they agreed with the other person on or what qualities they admired in them?  What if it had to be all about them?  What if they had to do it the old fashioned way, DRIVING around the country talking to the REAL EVERYDAY PEOPLE?  What if the media only reported facts?  Who was where and what did they say?  What if the media interviewed the constituents rather than the candidates every day?  What if debates were really debates, rather than elaborately produced prime time televised events that tend to evoke drama and bickering like children?  What if the audiences were real people, picked by lottery, because they wanted to be there, not because they wanted to be on TV or because they donated?

I think what it comes down to is I hate dishonesty.  I hate victim consciousness.  I hate the fact that the leader of the free world and potential successors behave like children, often spoiled children and it works!  How do we teach our children core values and tolerance, respect and owning our mistakes when our leaders don't model that behavior?

It's sad and disappointing.  I hope it changes.  For the better.  I can't say I'm optimistic.  And no, no one is getting any more of my money.  You'll have to win this campaign on your own heart, truth and by addressing the issues to the people.  May the BEST man win, not the one who spins the best story and has the most money and friends in high places. Who you live with or marry, what you do with your own body has nothing to do with running this country.  How will you deal with the economy, the world issues, health care, the fucked up circus that is our Government?

May the people of this country elect the person they feel can do the best job based on the facts.  May those facts come to light, in truth and honesty and full disclosure.

May the world find peace and stability.  May core values make a rousing comeback.  Somehow.  Someway.

No comments:

Post a Comment