Politics are crazy and the US system (while arguably one of the best in the world) has some whacky rules and practices. We kicked off this system with two nights of Democratic candidate debates.
I’m not here to endorse or even condemn a candidate. This first debate is the equivalent of the recruiter phone screen. We aren’t making any decisions here; just determining who we want to look at more closely.
But people start declaring winners, parsing every phrase, and seeing how this candidate measures up against the incumbent, President Trump.
To keep reading click here: With the Last Two Nights Democratic Debate, We Officially Kick off the Country’s Worst Job Interview Process
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While political campaigns have become obscenely expensive in America — thanks to the disastrous Citizens United Supreme Court decision — sucking up to rich people is not the only way to finance a campaign. Barack Obama showed how maximizing electronic media could result in massive fundraising from a lot more people making smaller contributions. Other candidates are now following that example, among them, Bernie Sanders. As a result, some candidates now can pledge not to accept contributions at all from certain sectors. The ultimate fix would be totally public financing of campaigns. And, it’s not necessarily a bad thing for people to vote for their own economic self-interest. If everyone did that — and enough people voted — the result would be winners motivated to benefit the most people, not just the 1%, which would be, overall, good for the Country as a whole.
It’s a shame that whomever advances in these debates boils down to whoever has the most clever quip or who smiled just-so into the camera. We warn job candidates to watch out for hiring manangers who makde decisions based on arbitrary factors….yet we think nothing of backing our candidate of choice based on all kinds of silly reasons that have nothing to do with their experience or abilities. I remember my Grandmother, a stauch Republican, telling me she voted for FDR (a Dem) because she liked the sound of his voice. How many Americans are swayed by nonsense like that?
It’s a pity it works that way, but then, this isn’t an employer phone screen in one way. An employer has control of the process of screening the candidate they will hire. The media is not hiring the president; they’re generating news that people will want to look at. If they think that people want to know that her clothes weren’t very feminine or he sounded old and stodgy, well, the media can and will focus on that. If they think the people want a logical analysis of qualifications for president they can offer that, but they know we have a bad habit of paying more attention to soundbites about trivial dirt.
The thing to never forget is that news is a business, and it’s not the business of selling news. It’s the business of selling advertising. That means that we, the consumers, are not the customer, we are the product.
In order to have eyeballs to sell to advertisers – the actual customers – they have to present their “news” in a fashion that people will choose to watch or read. But more important, those people have to be of the demographic that their advertisers want to target. So you get news organizations that cater to specific ideologies (political ideologies, in this case) because those coincide with the demographics their advertisers want to sell to. And people don’t like watching news that disagrees with their view of the world.
You (that’s the generic you, I’m sure everyone here is an exception of superior intelligence and wisdom) watch CNN or Fox because they show you the stories you want to see, and the advertisers put their ad money there because you’re their desired demographic. Because they show that kind of story, and the “other guy” doesn’t, it attracts more people of that demographic, and that draws more advertisers interested in it. It becomes a circle of self-reinforcing behavior.
In the end, money isn’t really the problem, though. The real problem is uneducated, disengaged, and frankly, *lazy* voters who can’t be bothered to inform their own opinions, so they vote the way the one eyed monster in their living room tells them to, because it shows them news stories that reinforce how they want the world to be.
Probably too many. Roughly 45% reliably vote for one party, 45% for the other, leaving 10% undecided heading into the polls. Those 10% really decide the election, and you gotta wonder: they’re undecided heading into the poll booth? Do they bring a coin to toss?
The voting public does need to think about candidates as a hiring process but too many people are persuaded by other factors—appearance, voice, verbal comments, rather than judging the skill performance. I have met many politicians but those who impress me are those who deliver by their actions in office. We need to check what exactly they are doing actively when the legislature is in session—which committees and how they vote and how often are they present for key issues. A politician who has their staff address all communication regardless, shows how much they are doing their job. Especially when they are considering giving themselves a raise despite inactivity. Most voters don’t make $174,000 to only work 180 days a year.
All this information is available for the voters to find if they don’t use social media as the source. Social media has become a crutch for information because it is so available but it is not a good information source because of the biased view. If technology is to be used for information, then all sources must be evaluated to get a completed level of information. Just like the process that is supposedly done for hiring without using a filter. Voting for politicians is not the same as voting for the prom king/or queen, as it is not to be based on popularity but performance .
Yes it was a disaster. And the attacks of the other candidate didn’t really fit in either, especially since even the one perceived as the strongest – Kamala vs. Joe – was based on emotion and fell apart over the next few days as the facts of Kamala’s story and clips from her own past interviews showed her inconsistencies. Though I can’t say the process was completely unlike interviewing. “How will you make these changes happen Bernie.” “I will!” That reminds me of the future tense of some questions I’ve asked candidates: “How did you find out that sales were waning in this tiny segment at your past job, and how did you increase them by 20%,as your resume states?” “I found the sales were low and then I raised them.” Me in my head: “yeah, great answer, does that mean they made up the bullet point?”
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