Why bother having elections? Seems like we could have a version of the Academy Awards decide the winner – the party which takes the most Oscars wins the election! This way we can recognize what has become central to the election process: mass media persuasion. No longer will we have to bother with the real issues, which have become subordinated to personality and presentation.
“And the Oscar for the best sound bite goes to…”
As Main Street’s political belief is manipulated by the images created by Madison Avenue types, let the big award of the evening go to the slickest national convention, with the supporting awards going to the best TV ads that pander to the emotional issues du jour. Special categories can go to the bloggers and the most forwarded email. As a bonus evening of entertainment before the awards, let MSNBC square off against FOX News with Jerry Springer as the moderator – the candidates themselves would not even be needed!
The electorate’s decision now resembles a consumer decision, not decided on the merits of the “product” but instead on brand image, carefully manipulated by focus groups and emotional advertising. It seems that the entire process has gotten out of hand. How about banning political advertising (and thereby also saving $millions) and solely determine national elections by a series of debates?