And Now for a Word from Our Sponsor
Guess what? The American people know very little about where the candidates stand on the very issues the candidates have spent the last year talking about:
*More than half of those polled by the National Annenberg Election Survey didn't know President Bush alone favors allowing private investments of some Social Security money.
*Nearly as many didn't know that only Democratic candidate John Kerry proposes getting rid of tax breaks for the overseas profits of U.S. companies.
*Importing drugs from Canada? That's a Kerry issue, but nearly half either didn't know or thought Bush also supported changing federal law to allow for drug imports from Canada.
*Making abortions more difficult to obtain? Nearly one-third of those surveyed didn't know Bush alone supports more restrictions on abortion.
*Eliminating the tax on estates? Two-thirds didn't know that's a Bush proposal. [Associated Press, Sept. 29, 2004.]
Blame the media? Sure. Blame the voters themselves? Sure. Our democracy is on autopilot. People don't vote. They don't take the time to find out what the candidates stand for. They sound plain dumb a lot of the time.
But the real problem is our system. No one designed it. And it shows. Who could design such a system?
The culprit of course is television more than anything else. It personalizes politics. Issues be damned. We ask ouselves if we'd like to go to a barbecue with the candidate, not what they believe. To alk abou the issues requires real knowledge. To have an opinion about someone's personality requires no knowledge.
Want to change the system? Two suggestions. 1. Restore the two-party system so the parties can once again perform the vital function of educating voters about issues. 2. Restore unions, which also used to engage in a vast voter education project every election.
That would be a start.
Fact of the Day: According to the NYT, since the end of the primaries local TV stations have run half a million political spots.
comments powered by Disqus
- Trump Holds Wide Lead in South Carolina
- An All-or-Nothing Fight for the Supreme Court
- Did Trump Really Lose the Debate?
- Scalia’s Death Sets Off Epic Battle
- Democrats See Gift in GOP Blocking Court Nominee
- Quote of the Day
- The Nastiest GOP Debate
- Reaction to the Republican Debate
- The GOP Presidential Debate
- How Clinton Could Respond on Supreme Court Vacancy
- Trump and Clinton Way Ahead in South Carolina
- McConnell Says Senate Will Wait to Replace Scalia
- Antonin Scalia Is Dead
- Clinton Says Sanders Would Be Threat to Obama Legacy
- Internal Tracker Shows Trump Leading in South Carolina
- Ben Carson used an apparently fake Joseph Stalin quote — and the Internet loved it
- Rubio exaggerates in saying it's been 80 years since a 'lame duck' made a Supreme Court nomination
- Humans Hard-Wired to Teach, Anthropologist Says
- Parents outraged after students shown ‘white guilt’ cartoon for Black History Month
- Maryland is once again considering retiring its state song
- Historian at the center of Sanders-Clinton debate
- James Loewen Says Additional Baltimore Confederate Statues Should be Removed
- NYT History Book Reviews: Who Got Noticed this Week?
- A historian’s advice to students thinking of getting a PhD in a tough economic climate
- German historian Heinz Richter cleared of charges