THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
From My Window
Issue Date: October 25, 2018
Can't Wait For It To Be Over
By Jane Thibodeau Martin,
Right now we are in the process of moving from our camper into our house so we do not have access to a TV. It's remarkable how little I miss it. I don't watch a lot of TV anyway, but with the impending election, TV programming has become unwatchable.
Huge political action committees; billionaire donators and political parties of all stripes spend frightening amounts of money trying to influence voters. Nearly 100% of the ads are negative, misleading and inflammatory. They are "ads," " designed to influence you but not to inform you. I don't learn anything helpful from TV political ads; nor do they sway my voting preferences. On top of that they repeat endlessly. Even with my having so little TV exposure, I could recite a few of the ads verbatim because I have seen them so many times. Some of these ads actually have an irritation multiplication factor that makes me like the sponsoring politician even less than I already did. I guess this works with their target audience for these ads, or they wouldn't spend so much money.
But if you make your voting decisions based only on TV ads, I am scared.
I do like a little background noise while I unpack and put things away in our new house, and so we listen to a lot of sports radio. There are annoying ads on there too, mostly offers to deliver truckloads of testosterone discreetly to your home; but there are NO political ads, not one. I'll take the testosterone ads over the political ones any day.
I wish every senate and house candidate's website had a standard section in a consistent format and a button you could click next to a list of issues where they would present a concise, no more than 200 word position statement on that issue. Politicians: put your position in writing and stand behind it, no blaming "fake news," write your own words and then own them. No comments about any of your opponents allowed, period. No hiding behind your election or re-election committee. I want to hear what YOU will do or think about the issue. All candidates have websites, but they are loaded with junk I am not interested in and you have to hunt and hunt to find the pieces you want " and when you do, they are often more about how their opponent is wrong about an issue, not what they are willing to say on the record about the issue themselves.
I'd like the standard topic list to include the candidate's future vision for social security; prescription drug prices; health care coverage, especially pre-existing conditions; and protection of the earth; our air, land, climate and water for future generations. I'd like to know what their position on the ballooning national debt is too " at the rate we are going it's hard to say what the worst burden we will be leaving for our grandchildren and great-grandchildren, our deteriorating mother earth or our crushing national debt. I don't want to be remembered in the future as a member of the generation who knew enough about the risks of these two critical issues to actually do something to fix them; but instead chose to sit on our hands and do nothing. And worse yet, knowingly vote for politicians who plainly indicate in advance of elections they don't find these two things important.
Something similar for local politicians would be nice too, although it's harder for local politicians to bollox things up as badly as those with ability to influence national policy.
I am convinced most people have already made up their minds how they will be voting this fall. But the money will continue to pour in to these obnoxious ads for another couple of weeks, at which point I hope for a brief respite - before they crank up again for 2020. I may well want to go to some remote Canadian boreal forest or Pacific Island and live off the grid in a hut for three or so months before the 2020 election happens, so I don't have to endure these election ads again.
You can reach me for commentary, alternative viewpoints or ideas at this e-mail address: Janiethibmartin@gmail.com.