Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Survivor, the November 4th Episode

Gerald Ford ran as a gentleman and emphasized his record. George HW Bush did the same. Both lost.

McCain seems to be doing the same.

What America wants is conflict. We want to see punches and bloody noses. We want verbal jabs. And we want promises. “Let’s see what you’ve got for me,” says the voter.

We run political campaigns like we would a reality TV series. The parallels between American Idol and the Obama and Palin PR packages are astounding. We want candidates to be “Rock Stars.”

My daughter has received targeted post cards and peer phone calls, all screaming out to the 18-25 year olds that Ruth Munson is their candidate. (State Rep – Elgin Illinois)

“Hi, I’m Melissa.” (Her voice was obviously that of a college student.) “Is your daughter home?” (Nope.) “I’m calling to encourage her to vote for Ruth Munson. Would it be OK if I call back?” (Sure.)

Ruth is constantly in campaign mode. Her favorite constituents are…well…everybody. Ruth is for seniors, seƱores, veterans, women, children, and now college students.

Tough sell, that college student one. Ruth is the champion of illegal aliens in the district, those same folks who compete with college students for summer jobs and other entry-level jobs commonly sought for by teen-agers.

And who’s getting the scholarships? Well, minorities without regard for immigration status. I’ll bet Ruth doesn’t talk much about that to her college audiences.

And Ruth has the guts to campaign as a champion of identity theft victims when she has voted to ban Social Security Card verifications for new hires.

I keep looking for “Ruth, the conservative” and I can’t find her.

Political campaigns are less about substance and more about promises and entertainment. Today’s voters are more likely to be attracted to government entitlements than ever before. And today’s successful candidates must promise those entitlements in order to get elected.

Ironically, those same people who took out a bad mortgage because it freed up the cash they wanted for an SUV and a home theater are going to be attracted to the candidate who is offering the freebies they desire…like free health care for everyone…an economic stimulus check…a ban on foreclosures.

Loan sharks who sign people up to bad loans they don’t understand are called crooks.

They have a name for politicians who promise bad policy the voters don’t understand. They call them “incumbents.”

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