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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Popularity - This Fall's Election is a Virtual Co-opting of High School "The Musical"

Columnist Kathleen Parker says we should pull out our childish Magic 8-Balls to keep track of who's the most popular candidate we might choose to be president of the United States.

President Barack Obama was more popular a few weeks ago than he appears to be in recent released polls taken since he announced his support for Marriage Equality aka "same sex marriage".

As our US economy improves, the news media, often dominated by entertainment rather than "real news", looks for whatever buzz American voters are responding to, lately.  Given Parker's take on news published in today's Washington Post, the idea that a president might be focused on international policy now impacted by anti-austerity elections in France and Greece, plus an already improving economy, aren't popular enough topics to create news worthy of making President Obama more popular again, or "lately".

A politicians' position on Marriage Equality has nothing to do with the ability to be President of the United States.  In my opinion, this social issue has zero impact on who is qualified to be president. Nonetheless, the "Gay Marriage" subject makes popularity news.

Will news media bravely resist the pressure of publishing such irrelevant news?

Although cynicism and irreverence often goes hand in hand with politics, the business of electing leaders cannot be treated as entertainment.

Personally, I'm weary of the high school musical tone of the presidential election campaign.  Republicans are pulling Romney to the right while House Speaker Boehner panders to this conservative constituency and threatens the important Debt Ceiling vote in the US House.  This is news!

Democrats sometimes act like they live in a bubble about President Obama's re-election chances. They had better wake up and work hard find enough votes to win the fall election, and soon!

Somewhere in the middle, tensions between the two polarized political groups, R's and D's, must subside as running the American government is essential.

Like Disney's High School Musical, somebody must eventually find a solution to political drama.  Compromise, statesmanship and leadership must prevail, or the political ending will surely be something like the Romeo and Juliet story the High School Musical is based on.

But, right now, each political team on the ideological tug of war are singing their same rhetorical tunes, over and over, creating a cacophony, resonating on deaf voters, many of then not paying much attention to what the singing is about.  It's as though our national elections are being co-opted by childish popularity polls.

Electing a President of the United States can't be like producing a high school musical.

Americans need to ask more about how politicians will lead us, rather than be caught up in how popularly their sound bites of the day entertain us. It doesn't matter, at all, what either candidate thinks or says about Marriage Equality, especially when this issue is completely irrelevant to our daily lives!

Moreover, entertainment news should not determine who we politically like today or snub in the polls.

Serious public policies are at stake when leaders are chosen.

Let's demand more real news from our media and resist the Magic 8-Ball analogies.



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