Kyle G. Roesler
Hyperbole is used hyperbolically in much of American life. In sports, athletes constantly give 110%. Advertising has made hyperbole an incredible art form - that is, an art form void of credibility. Does anyone really believe we can all look younger, live longer, and become anatomically enhanced?
reaches new heights in election years.
Every speech is major, each primary key, and
every election is historic. That
phrase should be the most forgivable; after all, becoming President of
To me, 2008 looks painfully familiar. Both candidates have been holding rallies, generating sound bites, and buying TV time for nigh on two years. As of the end of August, Senator Obama has raised over $400 million and Senator McCain over $190 million, and the other Republicans and Democrats also raised and spent multi-millions on their abbreviated campaigns. Whomever wins will have promised so much, be indebted to so many, and be so physically exhausted their ability to do, well, anything is severely compromised.
I propose we make this election truly historic: make it the last election about money. Before 2012, this country should limit each candidate to spending no more than 0.0001% of the nation's GDP to try to be elected President. For this election, that would equate to about $13 million per candidate. Other elections (Senator, Representatives, etc) would be restricted to even smaller percentages of GDP. I believe this change will have a number of positive effects:
election season will have to be significantly shorter. Regional primaries (West,
2. More debates, less BS. The only way to get on TV without paying will be to hold more debates. And that’s a good thing. I strongly suspect Washington and Jefferson intended us to have more political debates and fewer political ads.
time to attack one another to maintain the public spotlight. Candidates always begin
all smiles and
proudly talk about what they plan to do for
Senators, Governors, and what-not running for President can concentrate
job they have, not the job they want.
Are the people of
It's simple enough to enact a law that intends to limit campaign spending, but that's just a start. The key is implementation, to enforce the rules against powerful forces who like the status quo, meaning every lobby and corporation from sea to shining sea. An election commission, empowered to cancel TV ads and even disqualify candidates, is needed to do two important things: keep track of spending, and determine which ads are in support of one candidate or the other. That way, a PAC that places an ad glorifying one candidate or criticizing another would get tallied against their preferred candidate's total. Also, if TV or newspapers offer free ads, those would be counted at the going ad rate.
This is not hard to do! Save the candidates, the political parties, and our country from the excesses of incessant campaigning, and soon, before we have four year long campaigns for president and no one spends any time in the Oval Office.