We are definitely living through an election for the history books.
Victory for one side will be declared a “change election” while the other side features the specter of the first female president in our history.
That’s pretty momentous. It’s really rather sobering. Given that, you’d expect this election to feature discussion of all the weighty issues currently affecting the country.
Well that’s what you’d expect. Unfortunately, that’s not what we’re getting.
Instead, the first presidential debate focused a great deal on how much Donald Trump paid in taxes, whether or not President Obama was born in the United States, and Trump’s past affiliation with a former Miss Universe.
So how did we come to this? How is it that the first presidential debate of this election cycle might have been easily sponsored by the National Enquirer? This is kind of a chicken and egg question. Have we become a country concentrating so much on the superficial and truly unimportant that our presidential elections now focus on odd silly diversions instead of real issues?
Sadly, that wouldn’t entirely surprise me. As a nation, we spend a lot of time watching the Kardashians, speculating on why Brad and Angelina really broke up, and taking selfies to send out to our thousands of “friends.”
As a group, we don’t spend too much time contemplating the real challenges we face as a country. And who could blame us? Reality is a bit depressing. The economy is barely growing and the unemployment rate is skewed by the failure to really take account of the underemployed. Much is being made of outsourcing and how to combat it, but as a close friend points out, any effort to counter that trend by forcing businesses to stay in the United States while labor is cheap elsewhere will only likely increase companies efforts to automate the labor force. After all, you don’t have to provide health care coverage and a 401(k) plan to a machine. And a computer won’t sue you later for discriminating against it based on race, gender, or age (at least not yet).
Here are a few examples of what we should be talking about this election cycle versus where we are today.
ObamaCare is imploding (more on that in the next blog). Meanwhile, we’re talking about whether or not Donald Trump called a former Miss Universe “Miss Piggy” for gaining weight. In fact, just this morning I saw a Hillary Clinton advertisement focused entirely on Donald Trump’s views on a woman’s weight.
Imagine if Abraham Lincoln had to deal with such things. For example, it’s reported that he once entered a room and looking at the assembled group exclaimed “how clean these women look!”
Social Security and Medicare are going broke. Meanwhile, we’re focusing on why Donald Trump was apparently breathing noticeably into his microphone during the first debate.
The list goes on but the end result is an election where upon entering the voting booth on November 8th voters will have almost no idea what the candidates stand for.
Basically, all they’ll know is that Donald Trump wants to build a wall and Hillary Clinton is a woman.
Much of the blame for all of this rests squarely on the shoulders of the press which is utterly failing in its job.
If this is what it ultimately comes down to in the end, let’s just pray we make it to 2020 with as little damage as possible.