“Sir, the economy is falling apart all around us. If you looked at the paper this morning you would have seen that the DOW has fallen an additional 475 points yesterday. The employment market has lost nearly eight hundred thousand jobs so far this year. The current administration has spent nearly a trillion dollars to try and stimulate the economy. We’ve all been given twelve hundred dollar checks give or take six hundred dollars. We’ve seen the value of the dollar slip in the global money market to levels unseen in years. Our national debt has doubled in the past eight years from five trillion dollars to well over ten trillion and well on its way to eleven trillion by the time the next administration takes office. The value of blue chip stocks, staples of our economy like General Motors and Ford, are selling at about the same value they had back during the Hoover administration. We are importing something like seventy five percent of our oil usage. We have had a number of Wall Street firms and other financial institutions, corporations that have been part of the American economic lexicon for decades, going under like dominoes. Earning wages have steadily slid in the face of rising inflation. We are spending more for food staples. We cannot afford healthcare and the majority of Americans are just one sickness away from the poor house. Can you tell us in two minutes what you would do as President to reverse this mess that has taken decades to create?” – Concerned Voter
Voters will expect our political candidates running for office to have simple solutions to the most complex of problems that have defied every effort from every other politician for a solution ever since forever. People want quick and easy solutions without any hardship. Want a balanced budget? It’s a simple law of life that the only way to balance a budget is to live within your means. The amount of income doesn’t cover the amount of expenditures? You have three options: increase income, decrease expenditures, or both. This kicking our national debt down the road until it becomes so large that it breaks our national foot is ridiculous. But as a nation of people who have been accustomed to immediate gratification, we are quick to give a cold shoulder to the politician with the courage to say something like we need to raise taxes. Let a politician say something like we need to cut spending across the board irregardless of who benefits from a program or not and people will want to get medieval on his ass.
The politician who can keep his ideas for his administration wrapped in a cloak of vagueness will be the politician that wins the public’s heart. Let the other guy get into specifics. Let the other guy say he wants to cut spending on specific programs or raise taxes on a particular segment. Let the other guy get exposed as having ideas that don’t do enough to eliminate the problem. The politician that can duck questions and perform evasive maneuvers like the USS Enterprise in a barrage of photon torpedoes will be the one that wins the people’s hearts. Spend more than two minutes answering a question to a problem that has defied a solution for decades and people’s eyes will roll into the back of their heads as the onset of a headache forms.
Even if we could follow the politician’s version of legalese and understood everything being said, we don’t want to hear doom and gloom. We want the politician that promises to outlaw income tax and fully fund every federal program known to man. We want the politician that promises to be our white knight, our Santa Claus, and our Easter Bunny rolled into one neat package of deception. We want the politician that feeds our delusion that we can have it all without ever breaking a sweat about worrying where it all will come from or how much all of it will cost. We want the kind of politician that is willing to make deals with the devil and sell our collective soul in the bargain making process. And when none of it works out as promised, we will feign shock, outrage, and hurt at being manipulated so well. We were lied to. If the politician had just told us the truth in the first place it would not have gone down this way.
But we all know that’s a load of crap! The politician that tells us the truth and lays it all on the line and tries to appeal to our sensible instincts is pushed aside and eliminated prior to the first round of primary voting. Why would we vote for someone who displays such a defeatist mindset? We want the type of politician who will at least try to sell us a load of crap. We need the type of politician who’s ready to sweet talk our voting panties off in the backseat of a Camaro. And after the deed is done and the façade of the lies falls away revealing the lusterless future of additional hardship, after all the bills of all the deficit spending and the chickens of irresponsibility come home to roost, as the days of the lame duck politician winds down and its time to chose his successor, we will again line up to hear the next set of promises from our next political suitor. A sound bite of sixty seconds is nothing to base the choice of who will lead us into our collective future. Let’s not ask our politicians questions about how they can fix complex problems and expect reassuring detailed answer in thirty seconds. Trust me, if anything they said was that easy it would have been done a long time ago.