Remember when mid-term elections were boring, almost non-events? Remember when the media took their job seriously to inform the public rather than entertain? Remember when candidates running for public office were educated, had read the Constitution, and actually had policy platforms? Not in the year 2022! This year’s mid-terms threaten to be a turning point in election protocol in the United States and many have dubbed it the single most important election in our lifetime. I don’t know about that, but I can honestly say I’ve never seen an election featuring as many unqualified candidates and as much vitriol as we are seeing in the lead up to the election. Never before have there been as many conspiracy theorists on the docket and in my 71 years in this country, never before have I heard of a candidate saying they will not accept the election results if they lose. People … this kind of crap is exactly what you see in a banana republic (and no, I am not referring to the clothing store).
A portion of the blame falls on the shoulders of the media for giving more attention and amplifying the voices of those who behave more like characters in a slapstick comedy than serious politicians. But the media acts according to the desires of the people … if it bleeds, it leads. The more outrageous, the more likely it is to be devoured by the public. The more lies they can tell, the more coverage they will likely get. The more coverage they get, the more likely that people will recognize their name when filling out their ballot on November 8th. A large portion of the people in this country pay zero attention to the issues, to what a candidate says vs what is realistic, but come time to fill out that ballot, they will gravitate toward the one whose name they have heard the most often. And that, in today’s media culture, will be the least qualified, most unhinged candidate.
The bulk of the blame, however, belongs to those very candidates who don’t belong anywhere near a political office. They are the ones telling lie after lie after lie, indulging in conspiracy theories that they know are bullshit, and in some cases even inciting violence. It is a slap in the face to the people of this nation when someone like Kari Lake or Herschel Walker, Mehmet Oz or Doug Mastriano lies to us and expects us to be either so stupid that we will believe their lies, or so uncaring about the future of this nation that we will throw the future away for the excitement offered by the candidate’s campaign. They don’t talk about the real issues, for they cannot … they don’t understand nor care about the issues facing the people of this nation.
Those candidates who have turned their campaigns into a three-ring circus like the aforementioned four and others will not seriously address such issues as climate change, wealth inequality, the gun culture, education, human rights and more because they don’t know a damned thing about them, and don’t care. Their only concern is their own power and wealth. Worse yet, they will lie, cheat and steal to ensure their win at the ballot box. And they have plenty of help, thanks in large part to the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in 2010 on the case of Citizens United v Federal Elections Commission. Oh yes, billionaires like Peter Thiel are donating millions … billions … to support candidates who they can use as puppets to ensure that there will be no raise in the federal minimum wage, that there will be no tax increases on the wealthy, that there will be no reduction in the prices We the People pay for our life-saving medication, for our rent, for our food.
This election has turned into a political circus and there is no “well, both sides do it.” Nope, my friends, between the media and the Republican Party, this is the election of the century and not in any good way. It is sickening, disgusting, stressful and dangerous when one of the two major political parties is willing to hold their nose and rally behind a ‘man’ who lied about how many children he had and with how many women, who lied about being in the FBI (he wasn’t), who lied about graduating from college (he didn’t), and who is perhaps the biggest hypocrite this side of the Atlantic Ocean.
I don’t know about you, but I am literally sickened by it all. In one sense, I just want it over, but in another sense I am deeply concerned about the days following the election. All you have to do is remember January 6th, 2021 to know that extreme violence is a very real possibility in the days both leading up to and after November 8th. I once thought we were better than this. And many of us are, but we are the silent majority. Remember when honesty, integrity, and values mattered? Yeah … sigh … so do I.