I was reading an editorial in the Sunday paper with the title “How to stop super PACs” by Jonathan Alter of the Bloomberg View. It is a good article, but stops short of the advice I mentioned in a post of ten days ago called “Mute out the noise – please join me.” There is something we all can do that is quite liberating and will leave you no less informed as a voter. It will also improve your psyche.
Quite simply, mute the sound when you see a TV commercial or hear a Radio commercial which is bashing another candidate. As one campaign spin doctor said the negative commercials are “at best half-truths.” The converse of this is to say they are at worst only half-lies. By not listening to the PAC or campaign funded rhetoric, it will show the funders they are wasting their money on buying influence and get the candidates to seek a different path forward.
As an independent voter, I do not financially support candidates any more and instead give my money only to charity. This is my own little rebellion against our election process. While they have different focuses, most Republicans and Democrats can agree on the desire for one major change – instituting term limits on all positions. This would also help with deemphasizing the PACs, as the influence they would be buying is time-restricted. I would also advocate the public funding of all campaigns and shortening the campaign season based on the role and geographic expanse of the candidate’s voters. Local elections can be shorter, while Senate elections need to be longer. I think we can elect a President with a 3 – 6 month campaign season. It is done this way in the UK and can be done in the US.
So, let’s begin with hitting the mute button or changing the channel. In so doing, we can prove the point about the world is “full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” This is even more true of politicians. If we refuse to listen to the negativity, the rules of the game may be changed. And, maybe better candidates than those in the GOP Presidential race will run and we won’t have to worry as much about their baggage.