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POLITICAL POSTMORTEM, 2012

Posted by Tim Bryce on December 5, 2012

BRYCE ON POLITICS

– What we learned following the election and what we will do about it.

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

It’s been about a month since the election and the dust has finally settled. I believe we are all glad the negative television commercials are gone, as well as the obnoxious lawn signs, but there are a lot of people who miss the action and are beginning to exhibit withdrawal symptoms. Whereas young people were mostly apathetic during this electoral cycle, older people and party loyalists were transfixed on any news pertaining to the campaigns, including presidential, congressional, and local. This resulted in a windfall for the media. Over $1 billion was spent on television advertising alone for the presidential race, not to mention radio, newspaper, billboards, telephone calls, and Internet advertising. In all, we set another record in terms of campaign spending, but was it really worth it?

According to OpenSecrets.org, a research group tracking money in U.S. politics, the University of California was President Obama’s top campaign contributor at $927,568. I don’t quite understand how a university system like California’s, which is supposed to be floundering financially and raising student tuition to new heights, can afford such generosity. Then again, maybe I just answered my own question. The fifth largest contributor to the president’s re-election campaign was the U.S. Government at $528,603. I wonder if the American taxpayers knew about this and agreed to it. I know I was never consulted.

I am still concerned about the apathy of young people and their apparent indifference for our electoral process. I have never seen a generation so uninformed, regardless of the information technology currently available, nor do they seem concerned about the future of the country. This frightens me.

We also learned the country is as polarized as ever, maybe more so. This has been building since the 2000 election with the hanging chads, but has gotten progressively worse. For the first time though, anger has been expressed through social media, such as the physical threats made to assassinate Gov. Romney or calls for uprisings. Such open expressions of hostility are not new, but their propagation through technology is. I pity the Secret Service which has to investigate such threats and taunts.

The media encourages such behavior, as exemplified by MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell who challenged Tagg Romney to a fight on camera (see VIDEO). O’Donnell was neither reprimanded or fired by the network. This can only be construed as MSNBC approving of his antics, and by inference, promotes and endorses open hostilities.

Then there is the matter of lying, cheating, and deceit in the campaign itself, either by official representatives of the campaigns or the public, which is why Voter Identification became such a major issue this past year. The closer we got to the election, the more dirty political tricks we saw, such as the letters sent to Republicans in the closing days of the campaign that informed them it wasn’t necessary for them to vote.

The biggest lesson I learned from this electoral cycle though was that the country hates our current form of elections. It is sinfully wasteful in terms of finances, consumes too much time thereby promoting polarity, and distracts politicians from tending to the duties taxpayers pay them to do. We probably spent more on the election than what President Obama proposed to tax the rich. Our form of elections are neither efficient or effective. For a country who prides itself on the efficiency of our technology, we certainly do a lousy job of conducting an election. It’s barbaric, but we only have ourselves to blame. As Pogo said, “We have met the enemy, and he is us.”

One last note, in a recent poll of registered voters, a paltry 22% believed in the polls during the campaign, a whopping 75% didn’t find the media credible in their political reporting, and the rest were unsure what day it was.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of  M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:
timbryce.com

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Copyright © 2012 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

 

NEXT UP:  THE RETURN OF THE SNOWBIRDS – It’s that time of the year again.

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, (12:30-3:00pm).

Also look for Tim’s postings in the Palm Harbor Patch, The Gentlemen’s Association, and throughout the Internet.

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7 Responses to “POLITICAL POSTMORTEM, 2012”

  1. Jenn said

    I believe change is in order. We need to find a system that works when it comes to elections. You know something is desperately wrong when 147% of the registered voters turned out to vote in one county in Ohio. S-C-A-R-Y!

    Like

  2. Tim Bryce said

    An A.S. of Palm Harbor, FL wrote…

    “Lawrence O’Donnell..biggest a****** on the this planet right behind Chris Mathews.”

    Like

  3. Tim Bryce said

    A D.D. of Palm Harbor, Florida wrote…

    “In the last 2 Presidential Campaigns McCain and Romney thought “being gentlemanly and nice” would attract the women’s vote I suppose. I think it was a HUGE mistake. We are demonized by the media and by the opponent and WE don’t fight back, which makes us look wimpy!!! In my opinion that has to change!”

    Like

  4. Tim Bryce said

    A B.B. of Tampa, Florida wrote…

    “My wife and I spent nearly the entire month of October and November at our other home in the N. GA. mountains. It was totally refreshing to watch TV without all of the political commercials. Yes there were a few for local candidates but none for the presidential race. The Demo’s realized that GA. would vote Republican and therein saved their money for the battleground states like Florida.

    The only “crap” we had to listen to was that which was broadcast on the national news networks. And in most cases a flip to Wheel of Fortune or Jeopardy quickly eased the pain. “

    Like

  5. Tim Bryce said

    A J.S. of Skidway Lake, Michigan wrote…

    “”The biggest lesson I learned from this electoral cycle though was that the country hates our current form of elections” Having found that voting machines in Ohio were tampered with, we should not be surprised at the result. Precincts reported from 118% – 140% of registered voters cast votes, overwhelmingly for Obama. Huh??

    I can now understand how people in communist countries become fatalistic and give up. Why even run a campaign at any cost if the votes will be switched and the outcome a done deal? On the other hand, we can fix this system…. “

    Like

  6. Tim Bryce said

    A C.R. of San Francisco, California wrote…

    “Great oratorical and comedy talent fascinate the middle class Americans Let’s be serious ! The USA really need an comedian in the White House ?”

    Like

  7. Tim Bryce said

    A U.V. of Largo, Florida wrote…

    “There was a report in the papers that the campaigns ran into the billions. What a waste of money. Surely something more constructive could have been down with that money. What happened to “we don’t have any money”?”

    Like

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