"Lets Make A Deal" still seems to be a popular game when it comes to candidates and raising money for their "independent" campaigns. Is this too harsh? Let's not blame the candidates. The way it is now, success demands money. Lets just change the system..the framework within which they work.
Why is all this money necessary? Publicity. Spin doctors. Stylists. Consultants of one kind or another.
Why not take the money out of it? Let's create a law that says that no one can use any funds but those alloted by a government fund. An EQUAL amount given to each candidate. Let's ask each of the communications venues to give a certain amount of time to each candidate. Not prime time ads. Informational formats that obviate the need or efficacy of the "sound bite" technique.
We have grown into a nation of sound bites. And that is dangerous. Just a bit of catchy phraseology and maybe the sweet photo of the candidate or the nasty one of the opponent. Our neurology sets us up for this. See an image often enough and it effects how we feel and think. Positively or negatively. But life is not sound bites.
Life is joyful. It hurts. It needs consistency. Life demands promises being kept. Honesty. Trust. Knowing that what was there yesterday will be there tomorrow. Safety. Security. Honor. Hard work. You can't make decisions about what someone is offering you with a main diet of sound bites. It is like deciding to marry someone after a quick courtship, a few nice dinners and a little smooching. You need to know someone's history, someone's character before you make such a commitment. Someone who comes over when you have the flu and holds your head as you wretch. Someone who stands proudly by as you achieve even if it has taken a long time and their sacrifice to get you there. There are no sound bites that can predict that kind of love and commitment.
So that means that we have to get to know our candidates in a very different way. Who cares about a haircut? Really. Who cares if there is a crease in their trousers that could cut through tree bark? Let's see the wrinkles we all have. Let us see the imperfections and the attitudes. Defend their beliefs and predictions. Leave the spin doctors in the spin hospital. Let's see the REAL people. Let us see their grit because these jobs take every bit they have. When someone is holding your head while you heave, it's better to have someone who doesn't care if their clothes get dirty.
Lets give ourselves a break as well as the candidates. These government service jobs are supposed to be just that. These offices held are meant to be OF SERVICE to our country. They are not meant to be places to gain money or favor. They are meant to be hard work. Not laced with extended and/or frequent vacations. Any individual who is drawn to politics..no..scrap that. Anyone who is drawn to public service had best know it is meant to be a thankless job. It is not about ego. It is tough, not tres chic.
There are wonderful people in service. But there are many more who are not. We must safeguard our public servants from those who would use their weaknesses to get to them. Keep reminding them that it is about as glamourous as being on the battlefield because after all, aren't they fighting for our freedoms? Like our soldiers, we must remind them that we love them, need them and expect them to be satisfied with minimal salaries, some benefits and anonymity once service is completed. After all, it is not for their good only that they give their time and talent for this work, but for the good of all of us. Which makes this much better as a temporary job.
Let's hear about how they intend to fix the problems. With no personal money necessary to keep them in office, there go the lobbyists. There goes the need for them to spend most of their time raising money for each succeeding election. Lets help them get to work and stay at work. Serious, loving, passionate people whose excitement comes from fixing problems within our democratic system. Within the guidelines of respecting ALL of us. With regard for the basic wisdom of separation of church and state. People who can take criticism and use it and go back and make it better and safer for ALL of us.
Is this too tough? Americans have done tougher things. Americans are basically tough and sassy, even if we sometimes tend to be self centered. We pull together when we sense the need and come through it. Now is the time and this is the issue. Let's make sure that the public servants serve the needs of the whole, of the many. Not the other way around. And let's give them the support and REAL respect this devotion and sacrifice demand on their part. Let us remember the integrity of those founders of this American democracy who put their lives on the line when they signed that Declaration. Isn't it time to get serious and really proud to follow in their integrity so that we can secure this for the next generations?