Tuesday, December 13, 2011

What's wrong.

It’s hard to be conscious and not be inundated (and depressed) about the sorry state of affairs in American politics.

Our Congress, that branch of our government that makes laws, no longer functions. The 47 or so Republicans slinging it in the hopes of gaining their party’s nomination so they can run for president seems to have yielded a gaggle of half-wits. Some are incapable of finishing a sentence. Some don’t have even a basic grasp of world issues. Virtually all of them deny established truths like Climate Change and evolution.

Here’s where the trouble lies:

Today candidates are asked their opinion on almost every conceivable topic, from a pipeline across the center of the nation, to the gold standard, to whether or not all people have the right to marry. These opinions get aired, discussed and debated. Constantly.

We wind up considering about 75 viewpoints of each candidate. And in our “absence of hierarchy” era all of them are important.

That’s a problem.

Because you’ll never find someone who agrees with you on every “issue.” So we wind up having candidates that no one really likes. A candidate could hit on 67 of those 75 viewpoints but you could hate him because he disagrees with you on those missing 8. That’s why, today, no one has any real support.

It goes something like this: “I agree with him on almost everything, but I just can’t vote for him. In 1958 he came out in favor of protecting the migratory path of the Latvian Lake goose and I’m against that.”

Unfortunately, advertising has fallen victim to the same “everything for everyone” syndrome.

A television ad can have everything going for it and then some pipsqueak consultant will grab the floor and ask: “I don’t think this ad will build community and conversation.” And poof, your ad is dead, though it was never meant to build community and conversation.

In short, our list of expectations is so vast that we can only be disappointed. That’s what’s wrong.


Rich Siegel said...

I think 8.3% of your observations are wrong.

Tim said...

You are not alone.