With all the hoopla and senseless bantering floating around concerning perspective candidates in the local and upcoming presidential elections, I’ve tried as much as possible to avoid jumping on the bandwagon and getting caught up in the nonsense as related to politics. Granted, I do intend to vote as that right is afforded every citizen but it will take a little more than a catchy television ad and promises designed to tickle the ear to sway me.
To find out the real facts about a candidate’s beliefs and where they stand on issues, the last thing on which a person can depend for the truth is a television advertisement. By the time the campaign managers, official spokespersons and press personnel get through “amending” remarks politicians make it requires someone to explain what the comment means to the person who originally made the statement.
We can rest assured that at least every two to four years our televisions will be inundated with political rhetoric scripted by each candidate’s advisors designed to inform us just how trustworthy he or she is. The qualifications for running the country, they maintain, range from exampling abilities to effectively maneuver through a state’s budget crisis to being able to negotiate amicable peace treaties between rival factions.
As the democratic and republican primaries to decide the respective party representatives in the upcoming presidential election draw near a close, candidates from both sides of the isle begin pulling out all the stops. Business organizations lend their support and fork over loads of money, fellow politicians sign on to endorse the person who most “represents” the respective parties, and celebrities will even occasionally grace the screen in support of their choices.
The peculiar thing I’ve never been able to figure out is how democrats and republicans can utterly slam their opponents during the campaign for each party’s nomination but, when the candidate is selected, everybody then behaves as though there were never any differences between them. All the former “at your throat” competitors even profess unwavering allegiance to the newly crowned Mr. or Mrs. Republican and Democratic leaders whether or not their views are the same.
Another thing that gets under the skin of most is the fact virtually every political figure mounts a platform projecting themselves above the “common people.” Invariably, someone shows up or crawls from beneath a bush the political figure “forgot” ever existed and shovels a little truth into the “mix.” That only serves to discredit them and distort virtually everything for which the candidate stands.
This brings me to what will be my final issue (not that there aren’t a host of others on the political landscape) with respect to how voters declare affiliation to one particular party or the other. No matter what the candidates’ position on certain issues might be, the “affirmed” democrats always vote democratic as well as the “defined” republicans will concede to an obligation and invariably cast the ballot for that party’s candidate. It doesn’t seem to matter if the person holds differing views on certain topics or plans an unorthodox approach as resolution to a sensitive issue. The majority of declared party affiliates will always vote for the member of that particular party regardless as to whether the contender is better qualified.
History confirms it was President Thomas Jefferson, the nation’s third president, who formed the Democratic-Republican Party along with fellow political leaders purporting a decentralized democratic government. The party’s establishment proved to be for the express purpose of opposing the Federalists who were largely responsible for spearheading ratification of the US Constitution. In 1801, the Democratic-Republican Party reached the pinnacle of its power with Jefferson’s election and remained a formidable force through the election of Andrew Jackson in 1824. Soon after Jackson’s combative appointment the party officially split into two factions: The National Republicans who were led by John Quincy Adams and Henry Clay and the opposing Democratic Party headed by President Jackson.
It all started as a case of two groups desiring to reach the same destination but employing different tactics to get there; similar to when a car salesman approaches potential buyers and declares how he can save them up to five thousand dollars “if purchasing today.” Not withstanding the fact that if it hadn’t been for the undue pressure from the individual wearing the starched shirt they, in all probability, weren’t intent on buying anything today anyway but simply wanted to get an idea of the availability and requirements.
Too often political figures want to sell the American public beachfront property in Tennessee at an overly-inflated price when all we really expect is for them to say what they mean and do what they say. I could be wrong but it’s just something to consider.
(Clue: Tennessee has no beach)