Reality Check 2015: Voters as Consumers

A few weeks ago there was an excellent letter in our statewide paper which made the point that, to the corporate owners of sports franchises, those who enjoy sports are not viewed so much as fans as they are consumers. Looking over American politics, the same inescapable conclusion comes to mind about our electoral process.

Just for the tender-hearted, no, I am not bashing the importance of voting, or taking part in the political process. But just consider, if you will . . .

No other country in the world has a system by which folks run for president so far in advance of the eventual election. We can only thank the forces of the universe that folks running for local office haven’t tumbled to this concept yet; nothing would ever get done, and no actual news would ever get reported, as local TV anchors breathlessly reported on poll numbers for the Coroner’s race.

And, much like those folks who so excitedly tell us that we can put our gifts for Christmas on lay-away months and months in advance, political shills on MSNBC, Fox and CNN fan the flames, not only with debates and interviews, but with “Breaking News” alerts in which candidates say pretty much the same thing they said last week, and the week before.

Between cable news and Facebook, it’s a wonder any of us know anything at all about the world.

And, just like the holidays, elections bring us a plethora of things to buy, to support our candidate, and our economic system in general.



Bumper stickers.

CDs of your favorite candidates crooning their favorite pop tunes . . . You ain’t heard nothin’ till you’ve heard Bernie Sanders belt out “Total Eclipse of the Heart,” baby.

Or Donald Trump’s cover of Manic Monday.”

I’d like to think that most of the above are made by American workers, so that in itself will help the economy.

But let’s not forget the work that advertising agencies get, or the money that TV stations, radio stations and newspapers get in ad revenue. And not in Fayetteville, perhaps, but the billboard business in other parts of the country gets a nice boost from our perpetual election cycle.

Not to mention, of course, the rent on various campaign headquarters in so many places.

Yeah, put your vote on law-away today, before it’s too late . . .


About these “Random Acts of Kindness”

Random Acts of Kindness? Come on, now, folks – I’m 61 years old. I have to plan my acts of kindness weeks in advance, building up my energy . . . and then, once my kindness has been randomly activated, I gotta rest up for a couple of weeks before doing it again.

Cut me some slack, here!


Today’s soundtrack

Today’s blog was written to the sounds of the “Women of Earth” CD, featuring such notables as Mary Chapin Carpenter, Carole King, Bonnie Tyler, Aretha Franklin and others.


Quote of the Day

What we learn with pleasure we never forget. – Alfred Mercier