When I finally became eligible to vote, I rushed out to my local Supervisor of Elections and promptly filled out my voter registration form; I was excited to finally be able to take part in the process. I grew up in a home where my parents didn't vote, and I always thought it was unfortunate that my parents didn't take it seriously. My grandpa, a Korean War vet, never missed an election; and I'm glad that his enthusiasm for exercising the right to vote has rubbed off on me. Flamenco Dad and I take our politics seriously; and we've explained to our kids the importance of voting. Zoe was surprised when I told her that women got the right to vote just 88 years ago.
In the interest of keeping my sanity, I have declared a moratorium on watching all this nonsense going on in the news (television, radio, and internet) with respect to the Democratic and Republican presidential candidates and their respective running mates. I keep looking for information on platforms; I want to know what these people believe in, what these candidates suggest is best for our country...and all I'm getting is "Vote for me, because the other guy is...(insert nasty comment here)." I don't want to vote against someone. I want to vote for someone, because I feel they can best represent me. So far, I'm not hearing issues, I'm hearing insults. I don't believe either party is doing an effective job in relaying its vision for our country; and this has left me disappointed, angry and offended.
To make matters worse, the news and entertainment media have now gotten in on the action. Competing news and entertainment markets (I'm grouping them together because the line seems to be blurring between what is news and what is "entertainment") have gotten to the point where it has become something akin to mud wrestling matches or wet t-shirt contests. It's almost a race to see who can be the most outrageous and garner the most attention by printing or broadcasting the most sensational stories. Sorry, I don't mean to offend mud-wrestlers or wet t-shirt contest participants.
But come on: is this what news is supposed to be about? I want my newspeople to just. read. the. news. You remember the news, right? Where stories are researched, confirmed, and fact-checked, and then broadcast to the public without the anchors interjecting their own personal slant?
And when did the entertainment media decide that they should get in on this? Internets, if I'm watching an entertainment program or reading a magazine, I just want to know who wore what, what the hot trends are in fashion, which movies suck and which movies deserve my eight bucks (plus the price of a Cherry Coke).
So I'm going to conduct some research of my own. No more of this baloney I keep watching on television or reading online. I want to know what these candidates believe, and how they plan to lead the country. Wish me luck. I have a feeling this is going to be an uphill battle.