The Reality TV Show that is American Politics
by Jen AlLee
Tomorrow is election day in the USA, but I participated in early voting. It was pretty cool, being able to trot into Vons and vote, then pick up bread, bananas, and yogurt. But I have a confession to make... I voted for a man not because of his qualifications, but because I liked his name.
How sad is that? There's a reason for it, of course... I am totally and completely fed up with the political system.
Which leads me to my confession. I felt it was important to vote this year, to take part in the process. Unfortunately, I was ill prepared to make my choices when I stepped up to the voting kiosk. Not for lack of trying, mind you. I listened to what the candidates had to say, watched debates, heard news commentators, read articles... and I probably sacrificed about ten hours of my life watching those ridiculous political ads. But none of it helped. In fact, it just made things worse. Because I finally acknowledged something that's been true for awhile... politics has become one big reality TV show.
Who gets the most attention these days? The most charismatic candidates. Or the most outrageous. Whoever makes for good TV is going to get airtime. And those political ads? They are designed to tweak your emotions. Not only that, but they take statements out of context and twist the truth to suit their own purposes. By mid-October, I was at the point where I didn't trust a single one of them. I don't believe anything any of them are telling me!
So when I got to the place on the ballot where I really didn't know anything about either candidate, I looked at their names. I mean, if I can't believe what the politicians tell me, then judging them based on how their names sound is as good a method as any. Kind of like picking which horse will win a race. If you have the choice between "Greased Lighting" and "Next Stop the Glue Factory" which would you choose?
My choice for Nevada State Treasurer was Steve Martin. Yep, that's really his name. And since I'm a fan of Steve Martin the actor, I figured I should give Steve Martin the politician a chance.
Thankfully, I've found out more about Mr. Martin since casting my vote. I'm happy to say, I would have voted for him anyway. Whether he wins or not remains to be seen, but at least I've done my part. I'm not going to say who I voted for in that controversial senate race. Honestly, I'm not crazy about any of our choices. I just hope that whoever comes out on top will step back for a minute and think about what's best for the country as a whole. Not for their particular party, not for their individual career, but for the entire country.
After tomorrow, we can all breathe a sigh of relief. The political ads will be over!
Uh oh... how long do you think it will take before they start airing ads for the 2012 elections? I wonder if anyone named Marin Short will be on the ballot...