We’re past the primary, but still we get the occasional commercials….and there are more to come.
I think there is a real disconnect between most of those who aspire to elected office and the people, me included, who would desperately love to see a change in how candidates present themselves to us.
Today, on television, I saw a man talking about how he was going to, if elected, ‘undo the damage’ by Obama Care. As soon as he said that, he lost any hope of getting my vote. I don’t vote for people who use racist nicknames for laws that have proper names. The correct name for the law is the “Affordable Care Act.” I can repeat it again if this political hopeful doesn’t understand. Not Obama Care. Not any other term he would like to come up with.
Secondly, a lot of people that buy into these scare and racist commercials and mail outs are senior citizens, and the poorly educated and poorly earning people who tend to believe whatever they read, hear on television or are told by those they view to be authority figures.
Prior to Obama’s first election, I met some very sweet elderly people, who when asked how, exactly, Obama is truly a Nazi, Muslim (one of the ‘bad’ kind, although there wasn’t a differentiation in their eyes,) socialist (no problem with that,) or the anti-Christ–they couldn’t explain. Maybe the fellow in the 2 thousand dollar suit on the religious channel said it. Maybe Fox news informed them. Maybe power-hungry people who know better shared this information with such sweet, gullible souls.
It really made me angry.
Not with the recipients. Most of our society is pretty gullible. There’s all kinds of things that we buy into as ‘true.’ Look at all the young adults who think sex with pretty much everybody prior to marriage is ‘okay.’ Look at the people who talk about their ‘baby daddies’ or ‘baby mamas’ as if this is something to be proud of.
Look at the people who want to be ‘tougher’ on the poor to help them develop character. Look at the people who want to move the homeless to a different part of town to make the said town more attractive to would be visitors. All different types of people who have been woefully misinformed from television, media, pulpit, or sadly, from the darkness of their own hearts.
We are a gullible people.
Misinformation can be quickly turned into ‘information’ to be willingly gulped down by people who have not been taught to think for themselves. But such a human condition doesn’t make the situation hopeless.
One of my favorite 90’s sit-coms, Dharma and Gregg, had a gem that is sadly par for the course in how political candidates often treat us. Dharma is taught by her mother-in-law, Kitty, how to respond when someone asks where her husband, Gregg, a would-be congressional candidate, stood on campaign subjects.
The answer was basically, a non answer. When Dharma’s father, Larry protests, “You didn’t answer my question!” Dharma says of her soothing non-speak, “I know, isn’t that great?”
While funny in a sit-com, its not funny in real life. I want a candidate to tell me where they stand, what they will do, and how they plan to do it. And, what if obstacles are presented to their plan? What will they do then? The minute that I start to hear ‘non-speak’ or vague comforting platitudes, my attention starts to wander.
A candidate lost my support today by blaming Obama for a job well done. Now, I know some don’t agree with me, but I have seen nothing, other than a few start-up hiccups that makes the ACA something to make the sign of the cross about. The candidate is counting on stirring up prejudice, ignorance and the need to be part of a loud, misinformed social group to gain votes–not to do the right thing.
When you make your choices, seek out the truth of the situation. What do I mean by this? I mean, ask for clarification. If you don’t get it, ask again. If you still don’t get it, tell or write the candidate that your vote depends on them making some sense quickly. And then, follow through.
It might be the best thing you can do as a citizen. Send the message out loud to our candidates….stop blaming, stop trying to scare people, stop misinforming–or get out of the ring.