2015-10-22 – Yesterday NBC News came out with a poll (done with the Wall Street Journal) saying that “We don’t like our candidates very much.”
Don’t look so surprised NBC News. Your mission statement is “encouraging the nation to hate everything.” The surprising thing is that there’s anyone left who likes any of the candidates.
If we only had the mainstream media to go by, here’s what we would know about the major candidates.
- Hillary – Benghazi, Benghazi, and emails.
- The Donald — Something there is that doesn’t love a wall.
- Bernie – Socialist.
- Jeb! – My brother kept us safe.
- Martin O’Malley – Who?
- Ben Carson – A body with bullet holes is better than gun control.
And so on.
Don’t these folks have anything going for them? Even though I don’t like some of these people, and I certainly don’t want them to be President, I still figure that there must be something positive that the media could report.
If they did, do you think that EVERYONE’S NUMBERS would be so bad? Wouldn’t we like SOMEONE?
Of course, it’s not just the media. The whole system is set up to reward negativity. Nearly every campaign devotes significant resources (if they have ‘em) to tearing down opponents. There’s more electoral value in character assassination than there is in promoting your platform. So when a campaign tweets or issues a press release, the media run with it. The media are lazy. They just copy the tweet and that’s their story. They don’t even have to type!
Reporting is now nothing more than swipe, ctrl-C, ctrl-V (with emphasis on the swipe).
Nine years ago, I wrote an op-ed in the Chicago Tribune called “Whom to Vote for? None of the Above.” I talked about the American lament of voting for the lesser of two evils. I advocated the addition of a None-of-the-Above (NOA) option to every ballot. And I suggested that such a ballot would discourage the excessive reliance on negative campaigning that we see today (way more than when I wrote the piece).
Suddenly, it wouldn’t be the candidate with the fewest negatives who wins. A slate of negative candidates would simply be tossed out. You’d need positives to win. Campaigns would be quite different. No longer an endurance race testing who can suffer the most sleaze, elections would be about issues and about candidates’ strengths. Candidates would have to give us reasons to vote for them.
Principled men and women would no longer need to shy away from politics for fear of the smear. Polarization would no longer pay. An attack on an opponent would be a waste if voters could simply vote none of the above.
(To read the whole article, click here. And for my Illinois friends, think about all the politicians that have gone to jail since that was written.)
NBC News is suggesting that we’d vote NOA (pronounced “no way”) if we could. Let’s put it to the test.
Who could be against this. Is there any candidate out there who is so bereft of good ideas that they have nothing going for them but the destruction of their opponents?