A national political campaign is better than the best circus ever heard of, with a mass baptism and a couple of hangings thrown in . – H.L. Mencken
More and more candidates are throwing their hat into the 2016 presidential ring and the media, not to be outdone, are expanding that ring to three. The site of news reporters running after Clinton’s “Scooby” van was like watching a film of Japanese citizens fleeing Godzilla in reverse. Reporters have a difficult time trying to get the best tidbits of news, but focusing on what Hillary had to eat at Chipotle as a leading news story is ridiculous. Did we really need to know she had Masala chai and caramel lattes? What about asking her about her plan for the economy and her stance on Iran nuclear capabilities? Oh, that’s right, she won’t talk to reporters; therefore the mad rush to try to capture even a snippet of something to report to the nation on her campaign. As Clinton is choosing to run her campaign in a veil of secrecy perhaps the press should pick up their cameras and follow other candidates, leaving her to sit alone in her dark sunglasses with a few selected sycophants. Let her be the one to pursue the press.
Other candidates, while more visible, are still victims of the media who seem to find the highlighting of meaningless trivia more important than asking the hard questions we as the American public really want to know. Marco Rubio is too young vs. Clinton who is too old. Rand Paul and Chris Christie are flip-flopping. Jeb Bush is too old school. Ted Cruz is too much of a firebrand. This or that candidate is too wealthy, conservative, liberal, weak in foreign policy, hawkish and on and on.
We have a year and a half until the 2016 presidential election and by that time most of us will be so sick of mud-slinging and scandal dredging that we will just want it to be over. As the voters make the decision of who will (hopefully) lead our country for another four years, the defeated politicians will limp home, torn and bleeding, having spent millions, if not billions of dollars, to regroup and start plotting for another run in four years.
There is a lot of talk about campaign reform. It is one of Clinton’s talking points and one she wants to address if her 2 billion dollar campaign is successful. I have some suggestions to simplify the election process and reduce voter fatigue. Give each candidate one month to campaign. The first three weeks all television and radio ads are banned. Week one all the candidates will have knockout debates within their party with judges giving scores much like the Olympics. In the second week the winner of the debates will have a series of debates based on the topics that the American people have deemed most important. The third week the candidates can go wherever they want to campaign. The fourth week they can have television and radio ads but they can only talk about their plan for America and cannot mention the other candidate.
Clean and simple. Yes, I know this will never happen and maybe it shouldn’t. Maybe we need to have our candidates slug it out so we are sure they have the stamina to endure the rigors of being president of the most powerful country in the world in a time of economic instability and the growing threat of global terrorism. I also know that too much of anything is not good. Too much cake makes your stomach ache and staying too long at the circus just makes you tired and fussy.