Monday, October 27, 2008

Homestretch

I don't even know what to say. Stocks are sinking even lower, my savings are disappearing, I'm unemployed, and Mad Men is now over, not to be seen again until at least next summer. The one ray of brightness in all this is that the election is now just over a week away and the commercials can finally stop. For some reason Pennsylvania is considered a "swing" state. Yes, PA was traditionally Democrat, and yes, PA went for Reagan and the first Bush, but so did pretty much the rest of the country. PA hasn't gone for the Republican Presidential nominee since 1988. That's 20 years. So can everyone stop running the annoying commercials already?

I also wish campaigns would stop wasting their money by calling me, either through robocalls or volunteers, reminding me of when the election is and that I need to vote. I'm a super-voter; I've voted in every election, both primary and general, for at least 15 years. In other words, I don't need to be reminded. I will vote. Leave me alone.

Because I'm one of those people who always votes, campaigns can safely assume that I keep up with the issues and know who I'm going to vote for. They don't need to leave me fake voicemails from the candidates telling me where they "stand" and how awful their opponent is. Wouldn't the time and effort (or at least the money, since these calls are automated and require very little human time or effort) be better spent reaching out to people who don't automatically vote all the time? No one needs to "get out" my vote. I get it out myself, twice a year, and not only do I not require help, I resent having my day interrupted to field a fake phone call from a politician.

I've never been as thankful for DVR as the past month, but once in a while I watch live TV. Say, during the debates, or the nightly news, or a sporting event. I long for the days when I was annoyed at ads for cars and trucks and automobile insurance. I understand that the Obama campaign has raised a ton of money and is in the process of spending it, but I can't wait until the last time I'm forced to sit through the "We can't afford John McCain" spot. I get it already - now leave me alone.

I've often wondered, the past few weeks, if the total amount spent on campaigning for all offices in 2008 - President, Congress, statehouse, each and every office, in both the primaries and general election - were added together, how large would that number be? What if all that money had been used to, I don't know, lower the national debt? Buy up stocks to try to stem the market slide? Help prevent foreclosure? Help the poor have food and shelter? What if we had real campaign reform and stopped wasting all this money?

Maybe the founding fathers had it right. Back then, candidates didn't campaign. They waited at home while their supporters traveled around making their case. They didn't have yard signs, or robocalls. They didn't spend hundreds of millions of dollars of other people's money. I wouldn't want to go back to the days when only white men who own land can vote, but I wouldn't mind going back to a time before the quadrennial onslaught of sound bites.

1 comment:

tunsie said...

I can't wait 4 election day,because in my sight is a really moist apple cake.It is not 2 sweet and there is some crystal sugar on the top,it is sooooooooooooooo good.I won't tell any of u where 2 get it because u knuckleheads will go buy it all up before i get there.tunsie.tunsie.tunsie