I watched the State of the Union address Tuesday night. There were lots of interesting dynamics going on in the great hall of Congress. But that is not what I am writing about; although I could fill a page just on my observations of it.
Am I the only one who is already done with political ads and it is about 275 days give or take until the election? This article is not supposed to be about politics and trust me, it will not be. It will be about bringing some sanity to the system.
If it were up to me, I would change some things on the way people are elected in the good ol’ USofA. Let’s start with the Iowa caucus. Why is it they pretty much get to choose the candidates? They vote in February, and the rest of the states are strung out for the next four months. Unfortunately, by the time we Ohioans get to vote many of the people we might have voted for have dropped out. Why can’t we all have our primary on the same day in May? That way we all actually do get a say in who runs.
This one-day primary gives us the top runners from each party. These would then be the candidates. This might solve another problem: if we know who will run do we really need the posturing of the conventions? How much money might that save and it could be put toward solving the drug or hunger problems we have in this country. I see some real value in that!
But back to my first comment: months of political ads. My wife says, “Thank goodness for fast forward.” What if the rule was ads may only run for one month prior to an election? And that rule would also say only one ad per network per night. And they were only allowed to say what they were going to do for us. No mudslinging allowed.
Then there is the election night talking heads issue. It seems to me that no election needs to be called until all the precincts are closed. Seriously, am I the only one who thinks that calling an election when only one percent of precincts have counted ballots a little premature? Why should people in New York be calling an election when Alaska and Hawaii haven’t even had a full day of voting yet?
And the Electoral College, what is that all about? Historically it made sense. We all vote in our states and then representatives bring the results to a central location and vote the mind of the people. Well, we now have computers and phones and instant messaging. Seems to me that the person with the most votes wins. Period.
Why am I saying all this in a Values for Living article? Mostly I am already tired of the political ads and it won’t be November for another nine months. I value the political system, but I also value my sanity. I value ice cream, but would not want five or six bowls every day. (Especially not every day for the next nine months.) Maybe one small voice could be heard if only in Circleville.
Written and submitted by Rev. Robert N. Perkins, Pickaway County Ministerial Association.