Thank goodness the elections are over! I don’t think I could handle another commercial telling me how one candidate or the other was too extreme. As if there is a “mild” extreme.
I don’t know about you, but it sure was hard to get a real sense of a candidate’s views based on television portrayals alone. For instance, I saw one commercial that claimed a candidate wanted to “rip up” the Constitution. The very next commercial stated that the same candidate wanted to “get back to” the Constitution.
Then there were the infamous robo calls. My phone practically rang off the hook in the weeks leading up to the election. In each call, someone practically begged me to vote for a particular candidate, and based on what, a mere phone call? It didn’t take long to start screening our calls through the answering machine. Being bombarded with ads on TV was bad enough; I didn’t want to hear more of them on the phone all day long, either. I think I would have started pulling my hair out.
I heard that a record number of dollars were spent on this recent election. An estimated $394 million was squandered on advertising alone. In the California governor’s race, one of the candidates dished out $160 million, only to lose. Does that sound completely outrageous to you? It does to me. And why would someone spend $160 million in an attempt to win a job that pays around $250,000 a year to begin with?
It pains me to see so much money being burned to support a person’s ego. I’m not saying all the candidates are egomaniacs, but it just does not make any sense to dump so much money down the drain in an attempt to procure a job that lasts 2-6 years, at which point the process starts all over again! I guess it shows to what lengths those who crave power are willing to go.
A few years ago, here in Colorado, proponents of a bill that would have benefited people with special needs tried to get a .01 percent sales tax passed. The extra funds would have provided services to over 20,000 adults with disabilities who are in need of assistance. It failed miserably. Of course, our state representatives could have remedied this situation by simply cutting their own per diem by a couple of dollars a day. But we wouldn’t want the word to get out that they are public servants or anything.
I realize that mandated spending limits would cause just as many problems as they would solve, but it sure would be refreshing to see a candidate commit to donating the millions of dollars he would have otherwise spent on campaigning to worthy causes instead. People with special needs, for instance.
Of course, anyone who did this would automatically lose the election, because the opponents would not make such a commitment and spend an equal amount of money on campaigning.
None of these ideas are very realistic, but it doesn’t hurt to dream, does it? What if professional sports teams and their multi-millionaire stars took pay cuts with the goal of helping schools hire the best teachers to educate our children? Or what if movie stars used their money to feed starving children around the world instead of on their latest stints in rehab? Or if all of the power brokers who wasted millions of dollars to buy elections for some rather questionable candidates instead poured money into organizations that provide assistance to people in need of basic living skills and therapy. The landscape of our country would definitely look different.
Well, like I said, we can dream.