Please, can someone explain to me what the heck is going on? My goodness, when did running for President become reality television? TV coverage can be found all day, any day and at any time. From the moment candidates throw their name into the ring, nothing is off limits and anyone remotely associated with them becomes fair game. Any morsel, the more controversial the better, is repeated 100,000,000 different ways by 100,000,000 different people. I understand and appreciate our right to freedom of speech in the United States of America, but I think it’s high time it be renamed Respectful Freedom of Speech.
Who in their right mind would even think of wanting to be the President of the United States in these times? Hmm, now that’s something to ponder. As a young child I believed and was taught the President of the United States was a big deal, the biggest job in all the land and for certain the one that mattered most to our country. It seemed all candidates had morals, ideals, intelligence and were level-headed. Elections happened every four years and TV advertisements aired just a few months prior. The elected President was sworn in, moved into the White House, served the American people and were treated with respect. It was their job to keep us safe as a nation, a people and a country. Or so I remembered.
I wondered if maybe I’ve gotten the presidential past all wrong. So, I googled it and was reminded of a few things. For instance, that fateful day in November when our 35th President John F. Kennedy was assassinated while riding in a car. President Richard Nixon's impeachment during the Watergate Scandal. We elected movie star Ronald Reagan as our 40th President. Then there were the incredibly disrespectful and immoral “actions” of our 42nd President, Bill Clinton.
Today’s media are not lacking material to “report” on. There is “The Donald”, at least that’s what we called him when I was growing up. He's a successful real estate mogul with the misfortune of really bad hair. He owns fancy hotels across the world and starred in a very successful reality show, “The Apprentice.” To top things off he was recently endorsed by fellow reality star and former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin. I mean seriously, you just can’t make this stuff up. There is Hillary Rodham Clinton, wife of aforementioned 42nd president. This coupled with questions about how she handled emails along with the horror at Benghazi has the press in a feeding frenzy. Another candidate is a retired neurosurgeon with zero experience in politics. So the media has its hands full as do the late-night talk show hosts.
These days I can’t believe my eyes and ears. As Donald Trump makes derogatory remarks about disabled people, women and his fellow candidates, other candidates are said to be blatantly lying to the American people. As a teacher and parent, I am sick to my stomach. When did it become okay in our country to be so mean and disrespectful to others in a public forum? How can we be expected to teach our little ones to speak with respect when a few of the people running for President spew such ugliness? How do we expect a child not to interrupt someone while they are speaking when grown adults who should know better continually do so. Every child knows it’s wrong to bully someone, yet when a candidate bullies another it makes national headlines. Sure the debates may have been more entertaining than in the past, but at what cost?
So maybe I should throw my name in the ring. As strange as it may be I’ve been thinking up my presidential platform for a long time now. Welfare checks would only be issued if their children attend school regularly. Animal testing would be performed on the humans who abuse animals, not the innocent animals. Hours of community service ordered for people who leave their garage sale signs up on trees and poles long after the sale has ended. Oh, and for those who throw their trash out of their cars, they’ll be held responsible for cleaning up all the highways and byways in our great land until they are spic and span!
But then again, I’d be part of all that unwanted media coverage. Perhaps the reason we have the “choices” we do this time around is that the really smart people are being, well, really smart.
Moral: Be careful what you wish for because it might actually come true.