There have been bunches of people running for the Democrat and Republican nominations for President. It is possible some of them have constructive ideas on addressing issues such as war, healthcare, jobs and pollution. Perhaps some of them are neither venal nor stupid. Most of them are familiar with and even good friends with one another, or were. Many of them have served in public positions of trust. So I ask you, what don’t we know about their positions and why don’t we know?
President Barack Hussein Obama was reelected November 6, 2012. November 7, 2012 the pundits of the national media began handicapping the 2016 race. Did these purveyors of political propaganda seek to inform us about the policies of the potential contenders? With a clean slate and three years to investigate and analyze the bona fides of that extremely small sample of Americans who might soon lead the Western World, did the media strive to have us informed so we could make rational choices? Did the organizations which proudly call themselves “News” outlets eschew ratings for information?
We have had numerous events called debates involving both major party candidates. You may wish to fact check my memory, but to my recollection no one has had more than twenty minutes at a time, usually two minutes or less, to outline and explain the candidates’ plans governing America. It takes Peg longer than that to assign my weekend chores.
I recall Robert Kennedy responding to criticism of his motives for running in 1968. He said, “Isn’t it possible I just want to serve?” Is it vital to our country’s interest to turn debates that should be about issues into mud wrestling? Does the media think so little of the average American’s intellect that questioners must push for ad hominem attacks on other candidates instead of logical responses to positions?
Even when a candidate is interviewed one-on-one the opening question is never about the interviewee’s own plans. It is always some red-meat gambit such as, “Your opponent says you are a tea sipping progressive. Is your opponent competent to launch a nuclear strike against Iceland?” Should a candidate be adroit enough to reply, “You may want to address that question to the other candidate”, the media ratings hog will demand a negative response or announce a lack of backbone during the inevitable one-way post-interview.
I suggest if we abhor dog and cock fights, we should afford our future president at least that much civility.