Well, corporate media has done it, you gotta hand it to them: they’ve consistently portrayed the presidential campaign as completely boring, distanced from all real issues, and overblown so many small dramas out of proportion that most people are sick of it all already. Good job guys! Way to promote apathy!
And guess who the winner will be if this environment of apathy and disconnect continues to be so convincingly portrayed? Why, the party that appears to best benefit from voter apathy, ignorance, misunderstanding, bipartisanship, and bigotry: the Republican party.
I don’t want to see this happen. So I’m urging you to please bear in mind when scanning your newspaper or Google news or whatever source you use to get your information that politics is not simply about soundbytes, allegations, and big media-backed rebuttals. Politics can be whatever people demonstrate concern about. We don’t have to allow ourselves to be steered into gossip politics, where the “hot topic” revolving around Barack Obama is something that his pastor said. Who cares what his pastor has said? (Heard what some of McCain’s spiritual advisor has said?) What about what Obama himself is saying, or any of the other candidates, for that matter? Have you been listening to any of that? Well, the media sure ain’t. They are just looking to sell drama and sensationalism. Apparently they don’t think that issues that actually matter will mean anything to the masses.
What’s frustrating is that the whole national discourse has changed, and politicians are reflecting this change, but the big media is still desperately plugging away with the same routine. Haven’t they gotten it yet? I want to see headlines describing the environmental policy stances of the candidates. I want to see investigative articles about long-term plans the candidates will have to combat our country’s educational system decline, global warming and carbon emissions, and suburban sprawl.
What’s especially interesting when it comes to Barack Obama is that they are obviously looking for some weakness in his armor, something they can use to bring him down. But the worst they can find is something his pastor has said. The worst they can find is the fact that he is calling for trying diplomacy first before wildly dropping bombs and invading all enemies (remember why we ended up in Iraq in the first place?). These tactics must be seen as the pathetic diversion that they are: attempts to keep the public from concentrating on the real issues that matter that Obama and Hillary have been bringing to the fore, such as increased coverage of health care, working together across party lines to create a common plan and vision for the future, dealing with climate change, and attempting to address the problems in Iraq in a more healing manner than simply throwing contracting money and troops at it.
I’m going to keep bitching about big media until I consistently see important issues reflected in the presidential campaign, not just squabbling, gossip, and smear tactics.