There are two kinds of light - the glow that illuminates, and the glare that obscures.
When we go to a play or watch a movie or a TV show we aren't aware of the extremely bright lights that are trained on the performers. The actor is facing into a glare of lights to which his eyes have to become accustomed. From the stage the off stage area looks pitch black. Because his eyes have become accustomed, he can live and move through the scenery and the story without squinting. Without those lights we would be unable to see the action on stage. We would not become involved in it. But if those lights were turned toward the audience the glare would also be too bright to see the action. The actors perform in the glare and we see the reflected light, the glow.
For the past many weeks we have been submitted to the glare of venomous political campaign ads on television. It's enough to make you squint. All the raging, finger pointing and name calling has been like bright glaring lights turned on us. And those ads have done nothing but obscure the real action. I hope and believe they were ignored, as much as they could be, by intelligent, thinking people.
The real drama taking place has nothing to do with any of those miscreant offerings. The real story is about what the ins have done for America in clear, factual terms and how they wish to continue and improve, and what the outs plan and hope to do for America in clear, factual terms. It is difficult to see that glowing through the glaring of nastiness that has characterized this campaign. We'll see and hear more of it in the various acceptance speeches, I think.
We've been urged to vote, vote, vote. But a lot of people don't know who or what they're voting for. Elections should be done by an informed electorate. But no one is informed by the glare of loud, flashing and, too often, spurious TV ads.
When I lived in New York City and went to vote I found a ballot as long as my arm. Not only were there folks running for every office, council, committee and judgeship imaginable, but there was also a big brace of different political parties to choose from, and at the bottom a bunch of confusing initiatives. Without knowing who and what I was in favor of I would have been lost. During the Carter/Ford presidential election day I stood in line for an hour and a half to vote because too many people went into the booth and couldn't make up their minds about one local candidate or another. Instead of shouting "Vote, Vote" responsible people in charge should be saying "Learn, Learn."
What are the issues? Does a candidate really understand them? Where do they stand (or fall) on them? What provisions do they have in mind? What vision do they have? What new ideas are they ready to present and support?
I realize I am writing after the fact, but that doesn't matter. The uninformed voter is endemic to our society and archetypical of all humans I suppose. Too many people express opinions with no knowledge or experience to back them up. The fact that we persist in surviving is a manifestation of something else, I guess. The horrifying thought that maybe it doesn't matter. Does anyone really have their finger in the dike? Is it some natural law or divine decision that we keep on living? Is government, hence politics, just another game humans play while the Earth keeps rotating? And if so, who cares? To some people the fact that the Giants won the World Series is a more important outcome than who won the senatorial race in California. Are they wrong?
DB - The Lord High Vagabond
(This is not a contest.)
At what event of the past do you wish you could be present? Why?
Only 6 responses so far.