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Trigger warning: Post on U.S. politics ahead.

Yesterday was election day in the U.S., but it's an off-year, with no national races and very few governorships contested. The media has pretty much declared the Republican Party the big winners overall as their candidates and views on ballot issues tended to prevail. The GOP is still running against Barack Obama, even though he is not on any ballot, because they can stir up their base by doing so. Now that the 2015 elections are done, all we have left to look forward to is 2016. If that won't cause one to take to drink, I'm not sure what will.

I'm very concerned that the circus surrounding the dozen (and at times more) Republican candidates for president is going to drown us all. All we hear is what they say, especially the louder ones. There is a campaign on the Democratic side, but it's much more sedate and issue-focused. No one seems to want to hear about issues in any sort of nuanced way, at least that seems to be what the media tell us. Give us the dirt! Did Trump slander Hispanics again? Did the good doctor spout off another anti-science screed? What's Fiorina's latest screech? Which would-be evangelical president declared the intent to burn homosexuals today?

One thing the GOP is managing to do is inflame their base. There's a lot of evidence that many of their voters do not think any of this is ridiculous in the least. The Democrats, by contrast, are lighting no fires at all. Maybe the Democrats hoping the Republican candidates are going to knock each other out so that the one left standing will be so weakened, s/he can't win. That's not a good strategy, as one can see in, say, Kentucky. I don't think it's too soon to raise the alarm, to be honest.

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( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
changeling72
Nov. 5th, 2015 06:36 am (UTC)
Why do presidential elections go on for so long? And why is there so much razzmatazz around it all?
songdogmi
Nov. 5th, 2015 04:47 pm (UTC)
I think part of the issue is, we know when they'll occur years in advance. In parliamentary systems, an election could occur at relatively random times, so candidates cannot be in campaign mode until they're announced. (Although that could mean they're ALWAYS in campaign mode, maybe.) But here, we know that there's an election like clockwork every four years, so people can schedule things in advance. And we're known for starting things way too early -- presidential elections and Christmas shopping seasons and the like.

Of course, that doesn't explain why it's such a circus for two years before the date ... It's no longer about who can do the best for the country; it's about who can do the best for himself and his friends. The office only pays so much but there's so much other wealth and power that accrue during and after the term of office. I guess. These days, there's also so much vitriol; so much more angst and anger to disperse, I guess. It's been bad for several elections now, but this is the worst I've seen.

Some blame the media, especially 24-hour news and talk channels on cable. They're just eating this hoopla up with a big spoon. They have to fill a whole day, day after day, so they follow the Trumps and Carsons around like puppies.

Edited at 2015-11-06 04:41 am (UTC)
(Deleted comment)
songdogmi
Nov. 5th, 2015 08:02 pm (UTC)
Technically, it is a bit early for either party to settle on a candidate. We still have 51 1/2 weeks till the election. That's what's so insane about this -- they've been parading around for a year already, and the first state primary is still two and a half months away. The Republicans haven't whittled down the field nearly enough yet, and I'm not convinced they will by the time the official nominating train arrives in New Hampshire.

No one in the Republican Party is willing to call anyone out on their ridiculous statements or activities, either. That's one reason why suspect there are no responsible adults there at all. At this point, I'd almost welcome the return of Mitt Romney (not that I would vote for him, mind).

(Deleted comment)
songdogmi
Nov. 8th, 2015 10:57 pm (UTC)
You're absolutely right. The primaries are such a public display for what's basically a private matter. I suppose they thought it was an improvement over the backroom skullduggery that used to take place. "Look at all this democracy!" But what really warps it is, the candidates spend the pre-primary and primary seasons trying to appeal to the loud but radical fringes of the party, then they'll have to try to appeal to moderate in-betweeners to try to win the election. That's bizarre.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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