This isn’t the time where candidates have to go on trains and do the whistle-stop tours of the last century. Information is readily available for those who are interested in making informed choices and for those who are not, they could have five years to make a decision and little would be effected.
In today’s political world of hyperpartisanship and strong lobby monetary support is there really that much of a choice anyway? It seems that if you are making over $250,000 a year one party will champion your needs and if you make less than that the other party is more representative of your interests. However, even that gap seems to be narrowing as time goes on. How productive is the campaigning process? Is it merely more time for special interest groups to get their message out to the public when the public may be more inclined to hear it? Or is there really some value to the extreme discourse, propaganda and rhetoric that has become increasingly negative and destructive throughout the past twenty years.
It seems more and more that the public is merely choosing a spokesperson, like a team captain that they want to hear from for the next four years. It is not that particular person that anyone is choosing, merely the ideals the people believe that candidate represents. The public feels that it’s sending a message to Washington yet is it really? Hasn’t the last three years taught us that it doesn’t matter what the ideals of the person are because there are so many other stronger forces in play?
Unless there is more involvement by “regular” people on the local party level, the representation that goes to Washington, DC tends to have an ever-growing disconnect with the immediate needs of their constituents back home. It is up to Civil Citizens to become more involved in the shaping aspect of this process so that there are more choices than five flavors of the same thing candidates are dishing out.
Perhaps there could be hope in an Independent movement. One that starts by winning the local level elections and working its way up the ranks with results and solutions based actions to build public confidence. However, the problem with the Independent Party at this time is that it holds everyone who is tired of the two major parties. The reasons why they are unhappy spread across the entire political spectrum from the ultra-conservative that doesn’t think Republicans go far enough, to the ultra-liberal that doesn’t feel they are properly represented by the Democrats with the moderates in between that think both sides are too extreme. What they all have in common is their feeling of disconnect with the two-party system. It is very difficult to come up with a platform to represent such a spread of ideals in an effective manner.
There isn’t really a party that represents the middle. Middle class, moderate, centrists which many people find themselves to be, feel they get lost in the political shuffle. As a result many do not participate in the electoral process and it shows in their lack of representation by elected officials. It is this group that must become a strong voice of reason. When this part of the population is doing well the whole country tends to do well.
Which brings the topic back to the Election. A year’s worth of bashing each other about is expensive. Not just costly in a monetary way, but costly in the damage this vicious debating does to the social fabric of America. In today’s technology age we don’t need more than 3 months to have the debates and decide who the best leader will be 6 months tops. Then we can get back to work that needs to be done as a nation and show fiscal restraint and responsibility in the meantime.