BIG PROBLEMS WITH THE UPCOMING PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION!

By Jack Jodell, Sept. 25, 2011

I have now watched each of the first three Republican Presidential “Debates”. Apart from their total lack of any new or substantive ideas, it dawned on me that all of the three corporate media networks which held each particular event were, in their own individual way, badly depriving prospective voters of a real, side by side, examination of each candidate. Now granted,, being that these were all very conservative Teapublicans (except for Mitt Romney, Jon Huntsman, and maybe Ron Paul), I wasn’t expecting anything really original or earth-shaking. Nonetheless, I was upset that, in many cases, the moderater would usually direct one question to only one candidate and then move on with another question to another. On occasion all were allowed to answer the same question, but not always. In my opinion, EACH candidate should have been asked, and allowed to answer, ALL the questions ALL the time, up and down the line. I accept the fact that specific candidates may have made questionable statements on the campaign trail which  made their way into news coverage, and that such questions may require only that candidate’s clarification. But by and large, policy questions should be directed to and answered by every single candidate in succession, and often they were not. That way, it would be much easier for voters to weigh each candidate’s answer in relation to his or her competitors’. After all, how can one possibly a,b, and c candidates on specific issues if the moderater is jumping all over the place and not even allowing one or more candidates to weigh in? There was, in my opinion, far too much specific targeting of the perceived front-runners, and the minor candidates were far too often overlooked.  Then, too, enforcement of the timing buzzer has always been far too lax, and most of the candidates just kept on talking, ignoring the buzzer altogether.  Who the hell formats these debates anyway, and why do they set them up as goofy as they do? And why is the media so obsessed with finding and covering a “gotcha moment” by a candidate to the exclusion of serious analyses of each candidate’s proposals? It is becoming obvious that the mainstream media, the CORPORATE-controlled media, is once again showing how truly worthless they are. For example, did you know that there is, right now, a mass protest against huge corporate profits being held under the name “OCCUPY WALL STREET” on 10th and Broadway in New York City? Probably not—the media, with the exception of Keith Olbermann on CURRENT TV, has all but ignored it. Aside from Keith, the only real places to get accurate, thorough reporting these days is on alternative news websites, among which are http://occupywallst.org/, http://wagingnonviolence.org/, http://www.commondreams.org/, and others, but that will be the subject of a later post. Back to the upcoming 2012 election for now.

I am DISGUSTED by the whole way we run our elections. Aside from the flaws I’ve mentioned above with the debate portion of this spectacle, there are many oher unanswered questions and problems. First, and obvious, is the way we fund our campaigns. Corporate and special interest money, and candidate access, too, dwarfs that of individual citizens. This guarantees a bought-out politician once the race is run and won. Second, every election, presidential or otherwise, is prohibitively expensive to compete in. Elections have turned into a big, fat cash cow for ad agencies and television and radio stations. The cost of running ads in these mediums is outrageously high, and makes it all but impossible for ANY candidate to even run, let alone win, ANY election without massive financial backing from political parties and/or special interest groups. Again, the end result of this is compromised, bought-out candidates, not public servants. Is it any wonder regular working people seldom get legislation passed beneficial directly to THEM? Third, the very nature of today’s political ads are insulting and very, VERY juvenile. They are a gigantic turn-off to voters, as they insult one’s intelligence.They typically all share the same characteristics: 1). They demonize the opponent, often with false or wildly exaggerated claims; 2). They overstate their own candidate’s accomplishments or advantages; 3). They use fear as a motivator to vote for or against someone; 4). They wildly distort an opponent’s or his party’s position on key, hot-button issues; and 5). They focus on the undesirability of the candidate’s opponent rather than being truly issue-oriented, with rare exception.

U.S. elections are NOT fair and do NOT result in representative democracy. I repeat: “U.S. elections are NOT fair and do NOT result in representative democracy!” FAR too often, the candidate who has the biggest campaign war chest will win the election. Then he or she gets elected and immediately sponsors bills designed to benefit the group responsible for winning them the election, and THAT is why we have such pork-barrel spending and bills which often benefit the very few at the expense of the great many. The Supreme Court’s utterly DESPICABLE  Citizens United decision, which effectively nullified any restriction on unlimited corporate spending for elections, meaning those candidates infused with the most corporate money will almost automatically win the election. Once more, this will lead to a flood of pro-corporate, anti-labor and anti-consumer bills and policies. THAT, my friends, is NOT what our Founding Fathers intended for us at all, and THAT is NOT REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY!

In this current corporate-dominated, money-obsessed political climate we are all but trapped in, I am not optimistic that we will ever be able to fix this definitely broken electoral system or its very flawed and dysfunctional end result, our government itself. However, as an American Dissident, I will nevertheless propose some ideas for reform, practical or impractical as they may be. knowing that there are vast numbers who share my viewpoint and in hopes that public dissatisfaction may someday force some of them to be adopted. I am calling for:

1). A complete ban on all corporate or special interest-produced political media ads. The attempt to sell us a candidate through the use of anything other than the merit of his or her ideas must be strictly forbidden.
2). A total ban on all corporate or special interest campaign contributions. All they do is make the candidate beholden to them rather than to the general public. HAVE EACH CANDIDATE BE GIVEN AN EQUAL AMOUNT OF GOVERNMENT-FINANCED CAMPAIGN MONEY TO SPEND, AND ALLOW NO OTHER FUNDS TO BE SPENT IN AN ELECTION ENDEAVOR.
3). Guaranteed equal time and access to all forms of media for all major candidates (“major” to be defined and determined at a later date).
4). Candidates making untrue or misleading comments about their opponent, or misstating their own record, to be HEAVILY FINED, with banner headlines being widely distributed detailing exactly how they lied.
5). Both congressional and presidential campaigning to be limited to only ONE FULL YEAR from the election date.
6). Political ads to be serious and accurate portrayals of a candidate’s stand on the issues, NOT a Hollywood-style, overly- produced glamour campaign   designed to get voters to “like” him or her personally, or to “dislike” the opponent.
7). An end to this ridiculous flood of presidential primaries, which needlessly drain resources and boil down to a silly popularity contest among each party’s political base. Elections are for the good of the country,
NOT for the good of a party.

Go ahead and attack me on these ideas. Say I’m limiting corporate or special interests’ freedom of expression. That’s fine: owing to the fact that they are NOT individual voters, they do NOT enjoy an individual’s free speech rights, I don’t care WHAT the corporate Supreme Court says! After all, what do you think they are doing to US through their continual gaming of the electoral system? Aren’t THEY nullifying OUR  free speech rights by taking unfair access to our candidates? Let them have the same kind of access to candidates WE do: through voting at the ballot box, or seeing them speak at public political gatherings! We can’t allow these short-sighted idiots to continue to pervert and destroy our government for their own material gain. Let them make their profits the old-fashioned way: not by greasing palms with secret under the table donations, but by actually EARNING them instead!

About jackjodell53

I am an American Dissident trapped in a country where poor and middle class people are constantly being exploited and lied to by a very rigid and conservative plutocratic elite. I believe in government OF, FOR, and BY the people, not one controlled as it now is by corporations and special interests.
This entry was posted in commentary, conservative Republicans, corporate greed, Lying TV ads, Politics, special interests, Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to BIG PROBLEMS WITH THE UPCOMING PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION!

  1. First off, great show tonight m’friend! You add so much to the discussion. 😉
    Second..I love this post but you know none of your ideas have a snowballs chance in hell of being implemented right? I totally agree w/you, but unless and until we get the money out of all politics those elected will ALWAYS maintain the current fuckery in place w/regards to funding elections, especially with SCOTUS’ ignorant Citizens United ruling now being the law of the land.

    • jackjodell53 says:

      Dusty,
      Thank you so very much. It was great speaking with you, too, on Gwen’s fabulous online radio program, Here Be Monsters, each Sunday from 6-7 PM Eastern time. You, too, add a great deal to the show, so keep on comin’ back!

      You and I are both correct to assert that special interest money MUST come out of politics altogethrer, and the sooner the better! Growing numbers of people agree with us, so perhaps someday soon we’ll see a most welcome and long overdue change! We must never get discouraged, because even Rosa Parks 50 years ago faced what seemed to be insurmountable odds, yet she ultimately prevailed and as a result, our country benefitted tremendously. We must therefore always relentlessly persist, as did Ms. Parks, and know that someday, somehow, WE SHALL OVERCOME!

      • OMFSM (o my friggin spaghetti monster) You are just too damn positive for me dude!

        But it is a great point, and tossing Ms. Parks in the mix just makes me feel..dare I say it…good that we can affect change in the political arena.

        Great plug for Gwens show too…are you, by chance, in marketing lol! 😉

  2. Lisa G. says:

    Jack, I’m so glad that you are watching the debates so I don’t have to. I don’t want to have to buy a new TV because I threw shit at it watching them. You are also correct on each candidate answering every question so we can compare their answers. It is fairer that way. I also agree with using a specified amount of money for the elections – that way every one gets a fair shake at the nom. Your essay is right on point and I agree with everything you said – great job!

    • jackjodell53 says:

      Lisa G,
      Thank you for your kind words. It is becoming apparent that most people are as fed up with this crap as are we. I used to get very upset watching the conservatives rattle on about their ignorant nonsense, but now I’m immune to their bull and have come to expect outrageousness and little of value coming from them. It’s still not easy, but I think I’ve finally developed a thicker skin, and now their barbs just bounce right off.

  3. You make way too much sense to be taken seriously. 🙂

  4. jackjodell53 says:

    Dusty,
    Though I am not a person of color, Ms. Parks has always been a big inspiration to me, and a lesson for all of us that regular people CAN and DO make a difference, when they apply themselves to a cause.

    I have been in sales and marketing almost my entire adult life, but I am definitely NOT a corporatist! 🙂

  5. Max's Dad says:

    The Republican legislators in various states, drunk on tea or whatever, making it harder for students and minorites and the elderly to vote with their new “laws” demanding state issued ID’s and closing down DMV’s in poorer parts of cities. This is despicable also, but we all know, Jack, the black guy in the White House has made them crazy and they will do ANYTHING it takes to get him out of there. Keep pounding away my friend!

  6. I like your ideas, Jack, but they don’t square with the First Amendment and wouldn’t get passed into law.

    I suggest pursuing an amendment to the Constitution stating that corporations are not to be considered people and money is not to be considered speech under law. I think that would go a long way toward accomplishing what you’re after. With that as the law of the land, states could ban corporate donations to candidates and parties, as some states have done in the past.

    But for maximum reform we need public funding of elections with no other funding allowed. That would be the ultimate remedy, not only for elections but because it would free up the time and attention of presidents and legislators between elections, when they’re supposed to concentrate on governing.

    Finally — and this might run afoul of the First Amendment too, I admit — I would like to see a complete blackout of campaign advertising in the final 10 days before elections. Candidates and their supporters could go out and speak, and do interviews, but neither their campaigns nor supporters would be allowed to advertise. That should prevent underhanded last-minute sliming attack ads appearing just before people vote, when the attacked candidate has no time to respond and defend him- or herself.

    • SW, great ideas sir! IF they limited the amt of money these crooks could raise, they would actually have to spend time talking to people face to face…crisscrossing the nation and holding townhalls, etc.

      But they don’t want to do that, face people live..they really don’t. That’s why campaign finance reform will never happen as both parties don’t want to be held accountable for what they say…you, know..what actually comes out of their pieholes. 😉

      • jackjodell53 says:

        S.W. and Dusty,
        You both have good ideas on this. I don’t claim to have all the answers, but clearly SOMETHING must be doone and SOON, because we can’t continue down the path we’ve been pn!

      • Thanks, Dusty. There might be some politicians who don’t want to talk to people, hold town halls and the like, but I think most do. The way things are now, officeholders who want to run for re-election have to spend an incredible amount of time raising money. They literally start that the day after they get elected. Some describe it as being on a treadmill they can’t get off of.
        Because fund-raising isn’t why they ran for office and asking for money isn’t that pleasant, they’re drawn to seek big donations as much as possible.. That means they get more money for less time and effort. But it also means they are then more beholden to the wealthy and to to big businesses.

  7. Jack, agreed that we need serious reform and need it soon. If something’s not done, our system might degrade to the point where it’s no longer repairable.

  8. Stimpson says:

    I know, I’m late to this discussion. Just wanna say I agree the system is broken, and add this note of despair: Voting machines being used in many states have been proven easy to tamper with. So, never mind election campaigns, the very act of voting is broken. How sad.

  9. The “debates” are enough to make even the most hardened among us barf all over the TV or computer screen. These dog and pony shows run contrary to the definition of “debate.” Maybe five major categories of questions should be asked of every candidate, beginning with a different candidate each time, and giving them two or three minutes each. That way the tendency to always focus on the so-called front runners wouldn’t overshadow the others. But that would be too fair and balanced.

    One good thing that came out of the last one, however, is the more Perry babbled, the more he shot himself in the foot – while demonstrating very clearly that he doesn’t know very much, he can’t think clearly, and he definitely can’t speak English.

    The need for campaign reform is obvious and I pretty much agree with all the ideas put forth here.

    • jackjodell53 says:

      Thank you, Leslie.
      You, too, have put forth some good ideas and observations here. Perry, I think, has proven himself to be a mere GOP flavor of the week and will soon be deservedly spit out and rejected as a serious candidate. NONE of these ignorant and angry Tea Party fools have any real appeal or staying power for the vast majority of voters. They are, for the most part, frustrated, angry, irrelevant, cranks, extremists, and kooks. They are wasting the country’s time with their crazy proposals.

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