I’ve mostly been avoiding the Presidential race, because everything that happens a year before the election is just distraction and a stage show. The electorate doesn’t remember what happened last month, let alone what happened a year ago.
Until last night, I’d only watched some clips of the debates. I watched all of last night’s Democratic debate, and formed some opinions about the candidates.
This morning, I read an article by a major network, and formed an opinion about ABC News. It is not a very favorable opinion.
I’ve retained animosity towards Fox News for a long time. The thing about Fox News is that they’re so damn obvious with their spin. When they present news, they are as subtle as a fog horn. They are successful, because they know their target audience, and they’re playing to it.
Having watched a debate, and having read what ABC News presents of it, I’m startled by the nuance and subtlety. There is reality, which I observed with my own eyes and ears, and there is ABC’s narrative, where everything hinges on Hillary Clinton.
As I said briefly on Facebook, if any of the three Democrat candidates became President, I would not fear for my country. I cannot say the same about any of the Republican candidates.
Being an intelligent, literate adult these last few months, I’ve observed the media’s treatment of Donald Trump. Again, it is not subtle. There is a sick fascination and curiosity when it comes to Trump, and what he’s going to say next. He’s using his experience in the WWE to great effect, painting himself as a heal, and getting the crowd on its feet.
There is a narrative surrounding Trump, and that narrative keeps him in the news and the consciousness of the world. We’re being entertained by his antics.
And now I see that Hillary Clinton is receiving the same sort of treatment, to a lesser extent. She’s not following the same script as Trump, but the media that enables Trump to stay on the world’s stage is working their magic on Clinton’s behalf.
As I said before, I wouldn’t mind if Clinton became President. She’s not my favorite in this race, perhaps for silly reasons. For one, she’s a slick politician, subtle in the ways she shifts position. She puts on an accent when she visits the South. I didn’t like her as a candidate in 2008, and I don’t like her much as a candidate now. I prefer her over Trump or Cruz or any of the rest of the Republican crazies, but that isn’t saying much.
I prefer Bernie this year, but I have some apprehension. I’m not excited about his Medicare expansion idea. I agree with the idea of providing medical care as a right, but I don’t think we’re going to get there anytime soon. I don’t think Medicare is the way. Also, I’m not very comfortable with unabashed socialism.
Ultimately, it won’t matter which Democrat becomes the next president. If by some tragedy/miracle it is O’Malley (I had to take a few moments to look up his name), he hasn’t demonstrated the strength or personality to get equal time on a debate stage. How will he fair against a Congress that has been willing to fight Obama on everything, just on general principles?
Neither Clinton nor Sanders will have much luck pushing legislation. There is too much money going into Congress from special interests. The system is broken, and focused in the wrong direction. Whatever lofty goals Clinton or Sanders may have, they will find Congress minefield.
And that is probably the one reason I favor Sanders this year, because he acknowledges this, and talks about trying to fix it. I don’t honestly think he’ll have any success, but I’d like to see someone try.
One of the challenges this year will be catching the debates, rather than relying on the media to give me accurate summaries. CNN did a better job than ABC, but I think the only one I can trust on this matter is myself. And I encourage everyone voting this year to do the same thing. Don’t listen to the parrots and spin doctors. Watch, listen, and make up your own mind.