Wednesday, October 3, 2007

What, Me Worry? Take it Easy!

My own take on what's going on in the campaign for president is that no one, not the candidates nor their supporters, should feel either good or bad, upbeat or downbeat at this point in the so-called race.

Consider who is excited and involved at this point. Is it the voting public? I doubt it. Not yet. So why is the media so full of campaign "news"?

As usual, if you don't understand something follow the money. Who is making money at this point in the "race". It's those who want us to get worked up about the "race" right now. The candidates themselves, to bring in contributions, and the Main Stream Media, the same folks who hyped the news to get us worked up about the "threat" from Iraq, and now want to get us worked up about the "threat" from Iran.

No, I'm not claiming a conspiracy unless you believe that competition for the almighty dollar is a conspiracy. The key word here is "competition". If there is anything in common among all the players in the Main Stream Media it is the market, the public, the audience, the consumers of news, the buyers of newspapers, magazines, and newsletters, and their counterparts who go to the Internet for their news.

The media wants to sell us their conveyances of news, whether it's newspapers, magazines, newsletters or websites. They know that controversy, shock, horror and fear grab the attention of the public. "Extra, extra; read all about it" was not about obits, weddings and recipes.

But Tim Russert, George Steph', Chris Mathews, Chris Wallace, Bob Shieffer, Hannity and Colmes, Bill O'Reilly, et al are doing what they can to hype the start and first turn of the race, the first few games of the baseball, football, basketball, etc. seasons because they have to, to make money for their employers. They like to point to polls which are supposed to indicate the public's preferences. But the real polls they pay attention to are the TV ratings of their programs, the size of their subscriber base and the number of "hits" on their websites.

This time around the campaign for president started shortly after the last one. Instead of having three plus years of government by and for the people, we have one year or less, and three years or more of campaigning for the next election. As a result we are denied the chance to evaluate those in power on their actual performance over several years, and instead we are inundated by their claims of competence, ideology, experience and negative statements and accusations against those of their own political party. Then they expect the public to forget all of that and rally around just one of them as the savior.

Is it any wonder that the public is dubious, if not cynical at this stage of the game, or more accurately, this stage of the season. Not everyone in Red Sox Nation is charged up from March to October. Most folks get involved, if and when they do, toward the end of the regular season, and into the playoffs. That's when they pay attention.

The Red Sox led the American League East Division by 12 games early on in the season, and 14 plus games over the hated Yankees. They ended up winning the division by two games, but it felt closer than that. One of the Dems seems to have an early and reportedly insurmountable lead in the Democrat division or league in the game of politics. May it will be a wire to wire win, but it's too early to tell.

The real "Deciders" aren't yet paying attention. It's a bit early to proclaim victory. We haven't even got to political mid season and the All Star Game yet.

Lighthouse Keeper

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