Tis the season for political campaigns
However, like many of todayís professional sports leagues, the season for electing candidates seems to be extending longer and longer with each new slate of contenders.
Not long ago, candidates decided to run for office in late spring, knocked on doors and made public appearances summer through fall, threw in a few radio and TV ads in the waning weeks of October and then we the people voted. Today however, political campaigning has become much more than a year round pursuit, the most blatant example being the current presidential campaign that actually began in the fall of 2010 for this Novemberís election.
Above the exorbitant cost of operating such long-running political contests, the most disturbing aspect of the current process is the extended time that it allows for campaign fodder and political rhetoric Ė otherwise known as mudslinging.
As a former campaign strategist, I know that taking dead aim at a political opponent is a highly effective means of winning votes.
Yet in the new world order of electioneering, polls show that Americans are becoming weary of candidates wrestling in political muck and mire for months on end.
Itís not only a frustration over harsh name calling and accusatory finger pointing. Itís also the invasive robo calls and derogatory mailers that muddy the political waters until opponents until voters have no clear idea of election issues or candidateís platforms.
The question is how do we, as voters, change the current election campaign process? How do we communicate to the political parties that we want campaigns focused on the problems that we face in our everyday lives? How do we make it clear that we need candidates strategically planning way to help us, rather than bad mouthing each other? Obviously, money talks. We need to support candidates who earnestly discuss true election issues and their visionary solutions for those issues. And despite the high cost of political campaigns, you donít have to be a millionaire to help a candidate get elected. Every check, whether for $10 or $100 adds up and makes a difference.
Being registered to vote and voting is also a key element in changing the election process. According to the 2010 United States census, 66 percent of eligible women and 63 percent of eligible men are registered to vote. Yet less than half of those registered voted in the last congressional election. No vote, no voice, itís that simple. And finally, perhaps we should all take a page from the political strategists who create those annoying campaign mailers and invasive robo calls.
Perhaps when a politician slings some mud that we find offensive, we should flood that candidate with letters, emails and phone calls telling them that we donít like their bad mouth tactics and they need to stop them. And then donít let up until they give it up. It might be fun for the shoe to be on the other foot for a changeÖ.fa la la la la!