Now we have an entire cottage industry of "who's running" on virtually every political website or newspaper. But do Americans really care this early about the political games being played instead of expecting our politicians to actually govern? Page after page, broadcast after broadcast we are presented with intriguing portrayals of the guessing game of "who's in and who's not." All the while, REAL events are unfolding that actually matter and will continue to matter throughout 2015.
Just this past week, my students were asked how elections affect politicians' behavior and even they understood that future aspirations of higher office and political power can cloud elected officials' evaluation of actions needed to be taken. "Do I move on this issue if it could be used against me instead of what is actually correct in light of the problems and solutions associated with the issue? Should I do the "right thing" by my constituents or do what is best for myself and my future?" And this is what is creating a wave of skepticism spreading throughout America. Why then hasn't it become a focal point when most Americans feel this way? Because the media feeds off these political games and gossip mills. They profit so much from political divisiveness and conflict and then from extended election cycle advertisements that they have sold out from their role as watchdogs of our government to becoming nothing more than political cheerleaders and purveyors of ideological messaging - all for the almighty dollar.
Just look at the political rhetoric proliferating on the Internet. One group slams the other over governmental spending in order to gain an electoral advantage, but then when getting down to "brass tacks", vote to swell government spending. Even those pushing our national debt higher and higher, loudly demand a need for a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution, while they all themselves feed from the trough of excessive spending through budget amendments and riders (can one say earmarks? Pork?). And the hypocrisy does not end there.
Added to the new $1.1 Trillion budget, are riders increasing campaign finance spending limits - to the point only the extremely rich must worry about. I mean, how many Americans need to be concerned that they may not be able to spend more than the $777,000+ on political campaigns allowed (see http://www.politico.com/story/2014/12/tea-party-revolts-over-campaign-finance-plan-113520.html?hp=b2_c3)? Have our politicians lost their minds? Most Americans can't afford to buy a new car or even come close to reaching the "American Dream" without it becoming a nightmare. But those in Washington found it necessary to "limit" contributions, but for what? To make the rest of us feel like the government is putting the super wealthy in check? I think the rest of us would like that kind of "check" from our elected "leaders."
And now we have the politicians weighing in on the Senate's Torture Report. When folks demand full disclosure of Obama's policies and alleged scandals (Fast and Furious, IRS, Veterans Affairs, ObamaCare, Benghazi), they screamed to high heaven when the report was issued on our CIA and its torture program. And to think, those opposing the report dismiss not its content, but its purpose of being released as solely based on "political motives? Really? If its release is truly to be considered motivated by political motives, what are the redundant investigations of Benghazi (costing millions of dollars) really all about? "We want the truth when it is convenient to our political objectives, but we alone will let you know when things though should be revealed. Just trust us!" Now isn't that a Red Flag?
Perhaps it's time to rename the political parties? As you know, our great nation has seen many come and go from the national scene. Perhaps it would be best to crown the existing parties as the Republican-Hypocrisy Party and the Democratic-Hypocrisy Party. That way they no longer have to lie about themselves to the public.
And the media? As long as they are driven by the almighty dollar, forget about it.
As President Abraham Lincoln once wrote; "The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew." WE must rise to the occasion for we are facing issues high with difficulty! It IS up to US, not the powerful, the wealthy or the well-connected Media. Have a great week!