I’ve long held a view that when a political candidate hires a campaign consultant of the Frank Luntz spin doctor ilk – that candidate has robbed his/her potential constituency of a relationship of trust.
Such an act places a manipulative gate-keeper smack dab between the citizen and the elected representative. If we accept that sort of arrangement with our candidates the common denominator of civic intelligence is dramatically lowered.
No spin doctor can deny that. These folks do not raise civic intellectual awareness in this country any more than the do purveyors of American Idol, Survivor or Heroes who merely want you to watch and buy.
I appreciate internet sites like mediamatters.org that help the curious cope with a radical partisan stampede tactic.
I believe that so long as there are any ideologically driven information predators communicating with voters, organizations like Media Matters and Fact Check are necessary.
In 2004 the pain and frustration for me was not limited to the Kerry loss. Much more than that was the sense that the election – if not stolen – was still severely impacted by information manipulation and outright lying.
I perceived that the majority of those who voted were misled. Non-voters remained off the beaten path because political tacticians wanted them out of sight and out of mind – voluntarily self-suppressed. We were not even left with the consolation that a definite majority of the American voters had spoken; that the will – wise or unwise – of the majority of American citizens had been expressed.
Civically and spiritually, I counsel that we do not let someone else -in any context – tell us once again what to think and how to vote. I counsel that we make an effort to perceive the lies and half-truths proclaimed in campaigns.
I counsel an activist – even formally organized – civic campaign to put limits on purchased political ads, sound-bite advertising and contests decided by whoever has the most money available to flood the media with shallow inflammatory nonsense.
I’ve already made my arguments for and against the candidates of my choice. Repeating any of that is not appropriate to the theme of this opinion. As we move forward, I intend to advocate more and more for genuine civic wisdom and participation in this country.
“Change” can be a spin-doctor word use to get out the vote. I hope real change means a return to the idea that America is essentially one big town hall.
I’d like to see a circumstance where voters are renewed, re-aroused and willing to insure that never again will a bamboozle trump (pun intended) the truth.
I’d like to see political apathy become as unacceptable as sexual harassment, domestic violence, child abuse, identity theft and belching in church.
I want to move past Tuesday satisfied that this time voter apathy, ignorance and gullibility has not once again harmed this state and this nation to a much greater degree than another terrorist attack.