This morning I sat down with my coffee to catch 7.5 minutes of news on TV before my kids got out of bed. It’s the small luxuries in life that keep us going isn’t it?
The story that was on, in my brief glimpse of the world outside of my preschoolers, was a political rally in some unknown destination. I was immediately taken by the exuberance of the people at this rally. I mean – there were actually women who looked hysterical cheering for their candidate… men looked like they were ready to tear phone books in half they were so excited! I listened to the soundbites of what the candidate was saying and it was the typical platitudes of what the crowd wanted to hear about the future and the typical attacks on the opposing candidate for their un-american approach to leadership.
People were literally coming unglued. Why? How? I guess I just don’t get it. Maybe I am apathetic. Maybe I just don’t have the “spirit” that they always talk about at these rallies. I just don’t really understand how people get so excited at these events. I will confess I have never been to one… maybe there is an electricity that begins to run through the crowd and it gets contagious.
It’s hard for me to not look at these rallies though and just feel… discouraged. I mean – it’s a whole bunch of grown men and women cheering and shouting and yelling and crying and fainting?!?! over a political candidate? And donations? I read an estimate that there will be more than $5 billion spent on the 2012 Presidential election alone.
Really? Man – what if we could channel all of that energy and all of those resources into humanitarian causes? $5 Billion would go a long ways towards… well anything else. In a funny coincidence – in an average year, American citizens spend about $5 Billion per year… flushing their toilets*. I think that money is better spent actually. It serves a needed purpose.
Do we really need north of $5,000,000,000.00 in TV ads to promote or attack political candidates?
What if we just took the 4 candidates – 2 Presidential and 2 VPs – and just had them on stages across the country and we televised debates between them. Nothing more. Nothing less. The limit to all political spending would be for their transportation, food, lodging and the cost of the actual debates. Done. I mean – it’s what we really need to see and hear. Can they defend their position and present themselves well? Then we vote and elect who we liked best. Don’t think it would work? Elections used to be much, much simpler – but still competitive events.
I know, I know… I am so naive. The biggest problem with changing to that method would be that the people required to vote that into law are the ones who enjoy the spoils of big campaigns. They won’t want to give up the comfort of all that money. Jesus talks about that very thing in Luke 6:20-26… comfort is a hard thing to give up… So yes – I realize It’s never gonna happen. But if it did… I think we’d find a good start to the turn around both political candidates and their affiliated parties talk about wanting here in our country. I could get totally stoked about that myself. Maybe I would tear phone books in half, cry and faint as well.
And don’t try to guess my political leanings… unless you know me… You don’t know.