Sunday, May 27, 2012
Kaplan's Audacious Take on the "Crapshoot" 2012 Election
To read Marty Kaplan's latest article on the subtle stirrings of billionaires hijacking the American political process, one would think that Joseph Goebbels had risen from the dead and joined the GOP Brain Trust, along with the Ghost of Richard Nixon and Posters of Big Brother brandished in every swing-sate.
However, I do not accept the latent, blatant line of reasoning, first proposed by the late and political unaffluent Kenneth Galbraith, which smugly assumes that the average consumer -- and thus voter -- is so stupid, that he would be easily swayed by the persuasive glitz of political campaigns.
Ebay CEO Meg Whitman sunk $100 million dollars in the 2010 California Governor's race, and lost by 10 points. Senator-turned-Governor (and now disgraced CEO) Jon Corzine sunk million of his own fortune into a statewide race in 2009, all with the help of recently elected President Barack Obama, yet he lost the governor's race in New Jersey to Chris Christie, a red-blood Tea Party favorite. Newt Gingrich was a favored front-runner assaulted mercilessly with Super-Pac money, only to surge to victory by double-digits in South Carolina. Governor Mitt Romney has endured a host of detractions and discrimination from the media and conservative lights to the right of the Republican establishment. His ascent to his party's nomination has slowed considerably, but that has not prevented him from honing his message and zero-ing on the failed incumbents incapacity to bring the promised hope and change that this county needs.
Despite the rise in propaganda, this nation has grown weary and wary of the growing waves of political advertising, less of which has swayed the minds of individual citizens, armed with easier and quicker access to up-to-date information on candidates, their positions, and their foibles. If the political process has been hijacked, we should not demonize the Tea Party, Occupy Everywhere, or even the billionaires with lots of money to burn. Instead, let us hold ourselves accountable for tolerating an entitlement culture which has looked to government as the solution to our problems as opposed to providing a limited level playing field according the simple mandates enumerated in the Constitution.
On a side note, rather than directing and limiting who can say what through public media, Let us also focus on improving the crass and crumbling education system, which is now beholden to standardized testing and un-rigorous standards, along with the over-influence of school boards and teachers' unions at the expense of parents and communities. Pushing students through to graduation has followed from the intense and building pressure from administrators on teachers. The lack of competition and accountability in our public school system has deprived our youth of the capacity to judge and discern properly beyond sound-bytes, mixed metaphors, and hazy slogans.
Campaign Finance reform will only buttress more regulation, more government, and ultimately more corruption. Super-Pacs are doing a fine job decimating their own rhetoric, neutralizing their effect on voters and viewers across the country. Big Money cannot buy Campaigns, although Big Business in league with Big Government is bankrupting our country and leaving us a legacy of waste and debt.