The Republican presidential primary has been educational. Eight individuals were running but none of them really struck a chord with we the people. When we realized that this was going to be the only choices we were going to get, several candidates rose to the top as we discovered things we liked, and things we decided we could live with.
Herman Cain blazed a path to the top of the polls by being the only non-politician in the bunch, and the first candidate who had a plan to restore the economy. His campaign was derailed by scandals, real or manufactured.
The problem is we have only professional politicians, and party operatives to choose from, while we wanted a regular citizen who would not be burdened by a party agenda. We will have to live with that situation, but we do have a choice in the congressmen who are running, or do we?
If you do a quick Google search on political parties you will discover that we have a few; probably some you are unfamiliar with. All of these parties are running congressional candidates. Some are running candidates in your congressional district right here in Panama City, Florida, or wherever you live.
The reason you don’t know anything about the candidates running in your district is that your local news media won’t tell you about them. They only tell you about the candidates for the Democratic Party, or the Republican Party, and occasionally a politically connected independent.
The reason for the omission of the third party candidates is that the two big political parties are the biggest customers of the media’s political advertising, and they have big campaign budgets. They don’t want to compete with any third party guys, so the press accommodates them; they don’t tell you about the third party candidates.
Have you ever stepped in the voting booth and discovered a whole bunch of people who were running for office you had never heard of before? Now you know why. These people were all working hard to get your attention, but they didn’t have big campaign budgets and couldn’t buy air time on the Panama City Television Stations. They held meetings at churches, community centers and other places, and of course the press ignored them.
Think back about the republican primary debates. Who has conducted the debates? TV networks of course. These campaigns bring in billions of dollars in campaign advertising. Politics is one of the biggest businesses in this country. Our country is being bought and sold by the two political parties and the media.
Obviously if we want to have honest elections, where ordinary citizens can have a chance of winning without selling their soul to a political party we need to do something different.
Every big city and many smaller cities have expensive conference centers, paid for with the public’s money. Every county in every state has an election commission that oversees local elections. Why not let the election commission arrange real debates at our own conference centers instead of letting the press run our elections? Our states could provide additional money if required, and the local community could provide people to moderate these debates, which would include ALL of the candidates.
The congressional candidates would only have to campaign in their own district, perhaps attending three or four debates. If the press wants to cover this news event they can pay their own way. No one would have to conduct expensive TV campaigns. Perhaps we could even outlaw political advertising all together and totally remove that corruption.
Presidential candidates would have to travel to the states to campaign, but all they would be required to pay would be travel and hotel expenses.
That of course is just my personal idea. The point is that campaigning is totally unfair for third party candidates, and individual citizens. If you want to meet the good guys you are going to have to call up your newspaper and local TV stations and tell them you want to know about ALL of the candidates running. If you don’t do that your choice is going to be limited to a new professional politician, same party, same agenda.