Opinions

The End of Democracy

By: Robert Patton

If a journalist covering a heated primary debate between a handful of women were to call it a catfight, he would rightly be called sexist. But no word better than catfight better describes the behavior of the Republican candidates for the Presidency this year. And the supposedly “informed electorate” seems to be eating it up.

Ratings and network profits soar as the circus continues. Are we really going to choose the next president based on hand size, height, complexion, marital history, or religious convictions? We can also wonder why these so-called debates are even being held.

We have Democratic insiders like our own Senator Leahy brazenly declaring that he will tilt the scale in the direction of the candidate he favors and that the votes of the people in his home state matter little to him. We have Mitt Romney, a twice failed Presidential candidate himself, attacking the leading candidate in his own party. Romney, whose main claim to fame is that he made a lot of money putting a great many Americans out of work, believes that Republican voters don’t know what they are doing either.

If the political insiders know best what is good for the rest of us, why have elections at all? Now is the time that we need journalists more than ever before to expose all these back-room shenanigans.

Where are our Tom Paines, Thomas Nasts, H.L. Menckens, or George Orwells. But all we have are highly paid performers who work for ratings not truth.

Early in the campaign, a lot was made of a heated exchange between Trump and Meghan Kelly. Trump’s rejoinder was not in good taste and I will not lower myself to repeat it, but no-one noted that Kelly’s question never should have been asked.

Voters need to learn about a candidate’s position on important issues. Try perpetual war and perpetually expanding government debt to name a few. I’ve watched a few of these on-air events and have yet to learn what any candidate is really going to do if elected.

On the Republican side, all are going to get rid of Obamacare, expand the military, and send more and more young men and women overseas to kill others of the same age group in other countries. Trump is going to build a wall and Mexico will pay for it. Cruz and Rubio, when they are not throwing barbs at each other and at Trump will fight overseas even more aggressively than Obama. Trump will bring back torture and his opponents are probably kicking themselves for not having mentioned that first.

The Republican party elders are focused on one goal and it is not on winning an election. They exhibit no concern and offer no solutions to the serious problems the country faces. For the Republican party, Job One is Stop Trump! To the best of my knowledge, this has never happened before. Never has a political party formed ranks to attack the leading candidate in their own party.

Trump claims to be attracting new voters to the Republican party. If true, the party faithful are saying they don’t want any new members. The same seems to be going on with the Democratic faithful.

Instead of being glad that Bernie is attracting young people to their party, the old boys are hoping and betting that the kids don’t show up at the polls. The media is doing as much as it can to help. How many times do we need to hear that Bernie is 74? Why don’t we hear that Hillary is 68? And what journalist has asked Hillary about the war in Libya that she worked to start with devastating consequences?

“We came. we saw, he died,” said Hillary.

She actually was proud of what she had done. Ever since then, Libya has been a basket case with two competing governments and ISIS has just joined the party. Amazingly, she brags about her foreign policy experience.

The conclusion the media wants Americans to form is that Bernie is too old and too extreme. As for Trump, our own Paul Heintz of Seven Days, parroting the rest of his pseudo-journalistic brethren tells us that his “presidential campaign has been fueled by venomous rhetoric targeting women, Hispanics, Muslims, veterans, and the disabled.” None of this is really true. What is true is that none of us knows what any of these candidates will do if they find themselves in the Oval Office after January 20th. This is the kind of information that the media is supposed to be providing.

The media should be asking all of these candidates to grow up and act like presidential material, but how can the media do that unless it grows up itself?

 

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