Tomorrow is election day and I just don't know enough about either of the major party candidates to feel confident that either one of them will govern in the best interests of the majority of Americans.
You would think that after the many months of campaigning, advertising, polling, "news coverage" and "debates" that I would be better informed. Sadly, that isn't the case. What I've been fed instead is a steady diet of lies, misrepresentations, shallow reporting and distortions that have simply left me fed up.
"News coverage" and "debates" are in quotes for a reason. Once again the news media has let us down. Instead of pressing the candidates for real responses to matters of real consequence, the media have fallen back to their default position - an obsession with polls, fund-raising, campaign rallies and campaign ads. The television tactic of allowing airtime to opposing campaign operatives and politicians in an effort to appear fair and balanced does nothing to advance serious discussion and, 99 percent of the time that a media person asks a good question, they allow the respondent to deflect the discussion to the talking points that any campaign watchers surely know by now.
And since the so-called "debates" are overseen and orchestrated by the two major parties, they've become better known for their "gotcha" moments, gaffes and theatrics than they are for shedding light on matters of real consequence.
Here are five areas I wish I knew the major party candidates' true positions on:
1. The environment. How will you protect the air we breathe and the water we drink while balancing the nation's/world's energy needs?
2. Income inequality. What steps will you take to halt and reverse our country's slide towards becoming a total plutocracy?
3. Reigning in Wall Street. What will you do to prevent another financial collapse? Strengthen Dodd-Frank? Reinstate Glass-Steagall? End the creation and selling of derivatives? Prosecute white collar criminals?
4. Recalibrate Social Security and Medicare. How will you do this?
5. Balancing the budget. How will you do this?
I know the candidates have addressed some of these in their talking points, but those positions fall far short of what needs to be done. Besides, do you really think any of their rosy scenarios will come to pass? Remember, they still have to deal with that grid-locked U.S. Congress.
I recently wrote about the tough times ahead. There are lots of things that have to change before we really get things moving in the right direction again, like getting rid of the obscene amount of money that's in political play these days. Some sort of campaign reform is necessary, but do you really think our political elite want to change the status quo?
Change will have to come from the grassroots. I happen to think that the current two-party system is a farce. Although the two major party presidential candidates claim to have vastly different views on many issues, whoever wins the White House will face the same problems and the corporate politicians that have taken over our government will ultimately decide the outcomes.
I believe that if we had more diverse views truly representing United States citizens instead of forcing congressmen/congresswomen into one box or the other, different points of view might actually be heard and embraced.
The problem with flipping a coin is that it has only two sides. Better to roll the dice and look at some of the other candidates to see which might more adequately represent my interests. There are eight presidential candidates on the Iowa ballot.
Time to check them out.