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Am I Exhausted From the Campaign Because I'm Old?

Or is it something else?

[RONNI HERE: As the subtitle says in the banner above, Time Goes By is about “What it's really like to get old.” That's what I cover here, ageing, and that's what it will continue to be.

But when it came time to write today's blog post, I was in such a bad mood about U.S. campaign politics and the news coverage of it, that was all I could think about. Maybe it's an opportunity for us all to vent for a day (it is for me).

Our regularly scheduled programming will resume on Wednesday.

* * *

The Iowa caucuses take place today. At last. It seems to me that the lead-up has been going on for at least a year (it feels like 10) and I wasn't sure this day would ever arrive. I cannot be the only person who is suffering from campaign fatigue, worn out, sapped of the strength to care about any of them anymore.

But the gawdawful thing is that today's caucuses won't stop or even slow the 24/7 campaign and so-called news coverage of it.

The New Hampshire primary is hard on the heels of Iowa, then South Carolina, Nevada is in there somewhere and not too far down the road Super Tuesday, etc.

I am seriously worried that my mind will not survive intact from the useless mush being fed us by the candidates themselves and the media.

The only question left is what good this constant avalanche of campaign coverage is for voters? It's gone on for so long already that anyone who has only vaguely heard some news in the background a couple of times a week pretty well knows where every candidate stands on every possible issue.

Well, except for Donald Trump who has no issues but his poll numbers. Even on that one, the media has spent so many millions of words supposedly to explain him that you would think it's difficult. It is not.

I knew a couple of braggarts exactly like Mr. Trump when I was in fourth grade. The rest of us just ignored them then and they soon shut up. Apparently the news media didn't learn that trick when they were in school.

That's who I blame for my brain having reached meltdown – the news people. It's not like they have used the 24/7, two-year campaign to educate us about the crucial issues facing the U.S. and the world.

Just like Mr. Trump, they are concerned only with poll numbers and fill the time between each new survey with a bunch of uninformed talking heads whose abilities are better suited to covering the Kardashians.

It hasn't always been like this, you know. I spent a great deal of my working life in news and related media and I'm proud of the job my colleagues and I did in those days.

A big part of the deterioration since then is that there used to be time to research the story, do all the homework, track down the facts, check rumors against reality, find real experts on the subject and put it all together in a coherent package people could understand, while aiming for as little bias as can be achieved. We didn't always reach all the goals but we generally did a better job than now.

Today, with the internet and 24-hour TV news, the requirements are different and simple: fill the time - all 24 hours of it each day. It doesn't matter if what you say (or read what someone else wrote for the TelePrompTer) makes any sense or illuminates the story.

There are rare exceptions with a few reporters but the operative word is “rare.”

Simultaneously, the individual campaigns have become full-time, perpetual “shows." That's what they are now, entertainment designed to please and pander this constituency or that, and the candidates have long figured out that they must campaign full time, all the time - no respite for them or us for a day or two now and then - to become well known enough to reach the Oval Office.

I remember the exact moment I came to understand this. It was the evening of election day in 2008. While speaking with a friend on the telephone as we each watched the returns on television in our respective homes, as Barack Obama's win was announced I said, “Well, the 2012 election begins tomorrow.

I was half kidding. I thought so, anyway. But when I turned on the news the next morning, two or three politicians had already announced they would be running against Obama in the 2012 presidential election.

And the worst of that is that I'm pretty sure now that the never-ending, no-break presidential campaign had been going on for a long time by then and I had only just noticed.

I believe the biggest reason Donald Trump leads the other Republicans in the Iowa and New Hampshire contests (and some national polls) is that unlike the other candidates, he is already a reality TV star so no one has work at getting to know him.

But back to the perpetual campaign - how can any president – doesn't matter which party – possibly govern in any effective manner if before he or she is inaugurated, the next campaign has begun? And how is that good for the U.S.? Or in the 21st century connected world?

This 2016 episode of the campaign show feels even worse than in the past because of the boredom induced by the mind-numbing repetition of Trump's poll numbers, his fourth grade braggart's constant attacks on any- and everyone, and his profoundly simplistic solutions to problems he apparently does not grasp.

But that doesn't let the others off the hook.

I am exhausted by the petty and naive nature of this campaign. I don't believe the international community has ever faced such a dire and complex set of issues as there is now, any one of which could change the world as we know it. It frightens me that no one in the field for president seems to know this. Even if they do, I don't think any one has any answers (in fairness, who could?) but at least there should be a reasoned debate in the campaign and there has been none.

FRIENDLY REMINDER: I'm taking a big chance with this post. One good reason not to do politics on a blog is to avoid nasty trolls and other vitriol from commenters against one another. Let me remind everyone today, none of that is acceptable here.

Certainly disagree - with me or any commenter. Argue, in the best sense of the word, with one another too. But the rule here remains the same: keep it civil. No one gets a second chance. If you cross the line, your comment will be removed and you will be permanently banned from this blog.

Comments

No, Ronni, you're not alone. Worn-out, sapped of energy enduring the endless campaign, I'm sure there are multitudes with the same feelings. There is nothing of substance EVER!--it's all entertainment now and with an underlying dishonesty designed to divide--and it's working all too well I fear.

To be honest, I don't watch or listen to any of it. I see the headlines and that's it. I even scroll past my facebook posts on the subject. My top priority is to keep my small world positive on a daily basis and this never could be done with all the campaign blather in my head.

Kudos to Diane for her self-protective defenses. Those who take this position may be much better off for it than those of us who watch and worry. However, not noticing never seems to change anything for the better.

I particularly try to avoid paying attention to the media attention Trump is receiving. I've never watched The Apprentice and I've rarely paid any attention to anything about this man in the past, and his ascension both astonishes and frightens me. I keep telling myself that there's no way he can be elected president, but that feels lie whistling past the graveyard more and more each day. I picked up a few used books at my local library's Friends of the Library bookstore yesterday. Among them was, "Why We Want You to be Rich: Two Men One Message," by Donald Trump and Robert Kiyosaki (the author of "Rich Dad"), with Meredith McIver and Sharon Lechter, copyrighted in 2006. For $1 (selling price new was $24.95 in 2006) I thought perhaps I could discover some specifics that Trump may have in mind regarding economic policies, since he's not been forthcoming with much so far in his campaign. In Chapter 23, titled, "I Am A Baby Boomer Without Much Money, What Should I Do?" Donald answers this question on page 267: "I'd worry. Things aren't looking really great for people at the age of 60 in this country unless they're well off enough to care for themselves for another 35 years, counting inflation and rising fuel and medical costs." He says some other things, but nothing very helpful or profound. He does advise doing what you love, which obviously, for him, has been making money and living large. What do we do about the fact that so many jobs are ones that no one could ever love because they really are not that lovable? Robotics may hold the answer, but then humans become even more extraneous. Having just re-read "R.U.R". (Rossum's Universal Robots) by Karl Capek (1920) a few days ago, I'm a little skeptical that the answers to our biggest problems are likely to come from robotics, so what do we do with all the tedious jobs, especially when so many of them pay so poorly? Maybe Trump has a secret plan to restore the economy, create hundreds of thousands of satisfying jobs and make America great again, sort of like Nixon's secret plan to end the Vietnam War. If he does, I hope it's not filed right beside a recipe for soylent green.

I so agree with you Ronni. We have just cancelled our local paper, I don't watch television news or the 'news' programs - with the exception of BBC World News, which I can bear for the half an hour it is on the air locally. A view from elsewhere, with no horse in the race, keeps the hype to a level I can cope with and I find the reporters give the few rare actual facts that are worth considering.

I blame the "24-hour News Show". I believe CNN led the charge in creating that abomination. Now, of course, as you point out, it is hyped up by the minute by minute availability of news through a multitude of channels and devices. We can't put the toothpaste back in the tube. It's all here to stay. Living in another country (Canada) doesn't save us. I believe the US election news frenzy won't be over until it's over. And even then, as you say, it won't be over!

Normally, politics bores the bejesus out of me. But, this year is different. Never in my memory has there been such a clear division of ideologies as has been exhibited by both parties. There are very few, if any, gray areas here. The Democrats are as firmly planted to left as the Republicans are to the right. And this year, there are implications that directly affect the well-being of seniors. The very idea of Social Security and other so-called (by the Republicans) "entitlement" programs are at stake. Add that to the fact that we have a senior citizen running for president, means that older Americans are, and should be, involved in politics more than ever. However, you are correct Ronnie. The whole year-long campaign process is tiresome. Perhaps a look at the British system which limits campaigns to only a few weeks might prove worthwhile.

Today I broke my pledge to read only headlines of politics until summer of 2016. Of course, I'm not going to pass on TGB's column. But that's all I'll do. And I don't miss it one bit. The cable was cancelled last summer, as were newspapers except for M-F NYT, I'm not on Facebook, so that leaves the internet and radio. Even NPR and Pacifica are full of politics, so they're replaced with the music stations.

Do I get a gold star? No. Am I politically ignorant, yes! Do I care when others consider me irresponsible? No.

It's my preference, my right and obligation really, to fill the space between my ears with what I choose, mostly, and I cannot stand the attempted manipulation imposed upon my being, nor the real-life pithy drama being played out this year, from what I can tell. I'm not in a caucus, or primary state, and plan to vote the Democratic ticket, if for no other reason than the Supreme Court replacements that are sure to arise within the next 8 years, and those will include vital issues for our country.

By summer, the candidates will be chosen, and I hope the issues will be front and center, so Americans can be given intelligent, well-thought out positions to make choices. I also know I'm hoping, not expecting.

As an Iowan, I am sooo glad the circus in my state is almost over and we can go back to worrying about corn and soybean prices, etc. If you think it's overload of political hoo-haw in Oregon, there is no place to hide here. So, if you can't lick 'em, join 'em. I've been to two County Democratic Party events, and heard Hillary, Martin and surrogates for Bernie and I can tell you that, compared to the blather show coming from the other side, we have three smart, capable, experienced candidates, any one of whom will get my enthusiastic vote in Nov.

That said, after long agonizing over heart vs. head, I am caucusing for Hillary tonight. My grandsons will take care of Bernie.

Hear hear!

Simone said it for me.

I think that six months is long enough to select a candidate and elect her. I'd perhaps go with 9 months. More time than that, and the country becomes exhausted. Election cycles could be regulated by law, and that is what I favor.

However there is so much money invested in this system, I doubt it will be changed in my lifetime.

CNN made Trump. Ratings numbers drove CNN. And now we see the results. The Democratic establishment has decided that Hillary should be the Dem candidate, and so she expected to coast easily to nomination. Only Bernie Sanders stands in her way, and as much as I agree with him, I do not think he is electable.

We have two extremes here--a closed nomination process which has kept other candidates out, and a wide open process which has encouraged too many extreme candidates to come to the fore. Maybe it is time to form a third party.

Advertising is what drives the long election process. Think of the money the media is making on a long process and you know why we have this circus.

I'll tell you what I am sick of - the 50+ emails asking for a donation that clog my in-box every day.

Yes! Exhausted by the blather around campaigns for decades. The Trump phenomenon seems to have made it worse this time, due to the media fawning over him.

My husband likes to watch CBS news in the morning, and we've noticed that not only do they keep recycling features, they use old video for related stories. The 24 hour news cycle is a killer.

Interestingly, to us aging boomers, our son and DIL only get news from an Internet stream. As "cable-cutters" they don't see the news we see. They read articles if they find something of interest. My son the economist tracks Krugman and gets much of his news from him. The kids chose Sanders after using a web site questionnaire that matches ones views with the candidate. Prior to that, they knew very little about him. They are pragmatists, for whom the media circus is irrelevant to their lives.

Amen. Couldn't agree more.

Right on Ronni.

It's amazing to me that for any relatively skilled job in America, the employer expects applicants to have a minimal amount of related experience. Not so, however, for one of the most powerful and demanding jobs that exist, President of the United States. (Hillary being the exception this cycle.) Between our money driven politics -- obscene is the word that comes to mind -- the mass media, and a woefully un- or mis-informed electorate, I'm afraid that our system is incapable of producing the kind of paradigm-busting leader we need to ensure a more peaceful world of equitable opportunity for all.

You said it all, Ronni. It's infuriating, exhausting, pointless, mind-numbing and need I say depressing as all get out. Our political system, our election system has been circling the drain for some time now, and I can see nothing good coming from the November elections. Nothing.

I agree with you about the 24-hour news cycle and the pressure on journalists to keep finding new stories every second of the day, but you forgot to mention the fact that what we call "the media" is now owned almost 100 percent by a few corporations whose main aim is to make money. Back when I was a practicing journalist, many newspapers and even TV stations were owned by families who really cared about the communities they served, and they considered what they did to be a service. Yes, they made money, but not obscene amounts of it, and that was okay with them.

The corporations who have bought these newspapers, radio and TV stations have cut staff way back, shifted content to reflect "what readers want" and generally turned the newspapers and stations into income generating machines. They aren't interested in serving readers by giving them information they need; they are interested in selling their products to readers whom they see only as consumers.

In this world, media types aren't encouraged to challenge politicians; their job is to entertain readers with juicy bits so that the readers will keep coming back for more. This makes me so sad because the journalists I worked with back in the day were some of the most idealistic, caring people I've ever known--obsessed with finding the truth and getting it right before they printed it. Go see Spotlight for a good example of how this worked.

The post and comments have pretty much said it all. IMO Trump is an invention of Reality TV, and he thrives on the constant barrage of "news" inflicted on potential voters. As President, I think he'd be a total disaster. This man has no business being anywhere near the red button. (Can't you just see him and Vladimir Putin in some kind of macho smackdown scenario where neither of them will give an inch: WWIII anyone?)

I've tuned it all out as much as I can. I'll do my civic duty and vote for a Democrat in November. At least the constant blather will quiet down for a while. I SO agree with Darlene about the constant emails soliciting money I don't have from politicos, PACS and even huge nonprofits who have plenty.

My turn my turn....when trump threw is hair in the ring...I wrote and said you have my vote if you pay our real estate taxes till we go to heaven or dirt....no answer so I shut them all off - never liked politics and the constant news has so irritated me that I have been reading more or watching movies on demand. God Bless America.

Ronni,

You are spot on with your assessment of the coverage and the political system.

I have been inside on antibiotics for 5 days now and I have in the past faithfully watched Morning Joe and/or Rachel Maddow as well as the debates.

I thought my not being able to even tune in to any of those shows was because of my illness. But, in reality, I am not sure I will be able to watch any of them for this year even if I am feeling fit and spunky.

The fact that 24 hour coverage requires less reliable and informational programs of substance and all the rehash and blather of the politically nerdy
gives the world to the corporations who pay for the advertisements of things we have no NEED for and leaves out the real NEEDS that are not being met by our government is very disheartening--sickening.

I was doubting myself; wondering why I can't be interested in what is (or has been) a very important part of being an American. I see I am not alone in this feeling of more than disinterest--disgust.

It would drive me insane if I listened to it. It is non-stop political nonsense. I limit my news to 1 local news program which comes on my local NPR at noon and my newspaper. I've picked my candidate to support in the primary and that's that.

It's not my brain that feels the pain, it's my soul. I observe many of the candidates treat others with unkindness and rudeness, a lack empathy and respect. They fail to walk the talk of their so-called religious values and laws as they flout serial marriages and love of money while spouting false witness with a smile. Yet the voters feel these candidates "speak for them". Cry, the beloved country.

I go in cycles--feeling too ignorant of the world around me and deciding to watch the news to being so disturbed that I cannot watch at all. And I think you are right. I think I could handle unpleasant news if it was not sensationalized and beaten nearly to death with a rubber hose in the hands of the 24 hour a day news media.

I was trying to remember where I had seen Donald Trump's speaking style. Then I finally remembered:
http://www.amara.org/en/videos/lOTmpuMs8miN/info/mussolini-speech-taranto/

Thank you - again! Ronni - I can't even say how disappointed I have grown with the American political process. It is, indeed, like a "reality show". I'm going to vote but I'm not going to listen to the political rhetoric this next 10 months - it's too much mental masturbation.
I'm afraid the current politicos will destroy this country, possibly the planet before the millenials reach the age of influence - we're all just tired of it, and how very long it's taking for this emerging political model to die a natural death - or is it a suicide?

A few thoughts: The Republican nominees are the natural outcome of years of Fox TV. A network that appeals to the reptilian brain, distorting or ignoring facts and encouraging fear and incivility.
Part of Trump’s ‘appeal’ is that his campaign is self-funded and therefore, he is not dependent on special interest groups. However, Trump’s special interest group is himself and others like him.
I continue to be appalled that anyone thought that Sarah Palin should be one heartbeat away from the Presidency.

Well put and I agree with you. Is it November yet?

I've been fascinated by politics since I did poling for the Kennedy campaign - I worked for every campaign since and even once ran for a local office...didn't get anywhere because I didn't have sufficient money.

While I don't miss the media of that era, reporters who protected the politicos indiscretions and mess ups, I sure don't enjoy this 24 hr news cycle. I agree with others-CNN has a lot to answer for, from inventing that blasted "All news no matter how trivial, 24 hours a day" as well as for encouraging and supporting Trump.

I've watched the debates and, at a big family birthday get together last night, our table of 13 stayed an extra hour as the restaurant closed down around us discussing politics. We have everything from libertarian to far left to staunch republican in my family....the two visitors, boyfriend and girlfriend of my grand kids were amazed that this family debate could be heated but friendly! Everyone had points, some good and we all sort of ganged up on my 23 year old grand son who, being primarily raised by his Republican mother, thinks Donald Trump is the bomb. While I don't think we changed his mind, I was proud that he had something to say and was able to feel secure enough to express what was obviously an unpopular opinion. I'll have to work on him some more!

I amy be 73 years old, but I doubt I'll ever be sufficiently frustrated with politics to turn it off entirely.

I get most of my political information now from PBS, Rolling Stone Magazine (they have a great staff of editorial writers and frequently have excellent articles), a couple weekly news magazines, a few bloggers and editorial writers who I've come to respect...and I read both left and right wing blogs-one must know her enemy!

Ronni-this is YOUR blog..and you should be able to 'take a chance' discussing whatever you wist to. Everything you write holds some interest for most of us.

Be well
Elle-your neighbor in Beaverton

I am 75 and and I am just as mad about the election cycle as I was 20 years ago. The difference now is that I feel my age gives me a benefit. With any luck at all, I will be gone...recycled...before any of the current crop of politicians makes this world unlivable.

As for news, I subscribe to the Economist. I can't trust any of the U.S. sources for news anymore and I believe the Economist to be the most impartial source for all world and U.S. news. True, the Economist does not cover the Kardashians, so there is that gap in my life. Oh, well I can just make up some story, any story, and do as well as if it had been reported.

I used to love, love, LOVE the political process of primaries and the general election but this year might break me. And I'm so sick of hearing and seeing Donald Trump that I have fire coming out of my ears when there is yet more coverage of something he said or tweeted. On the other hand, the media needs to show what kind of a person he is, so it's valid and right for the news people to cover the junk that falls out of his mouth. I worry about the direction this country is going. The election seems to be more about who can be the most entertaining for too many people and they aren't looking at character or basic values.

Ultimately, I'm interested in what is good for America. This two year circus cannot be good for America.

If the well-worn concept of "following the money" holds true, the media must know they can boost revenues with a contentious process. The advertising dollars they receive for not adding any useful information to the world must be astronomical.

My bad news for today is that Australia is going down the US trail re elections - we have one also in November and already every Govt decision is being discussed/decided on the basis of its effect on the election not necessarily whether it is good for the country.
We have just had two good essays published here analysing the problem with modern politicians and pinning it on their lack of "historical knowledge " - like your comment on journalists Ronni - modern politicians don't take the time to research/reflect on their decisions - rather it is all geared to what will make a good "sound bite" - remember the old saying " you get the politicians you deserve" - do we really deserve this lot?

I'm in total agreement with Bruce.

I agree with you, Ronni, no lessons learned from 4th grade - he's not only a braggart, but a bully as well....and he needs to take a time out which I hope will be coming very soon and we won't have to see him ever again, anywhere.

Ronn,
Obviously you touched a nerve. Many Americans feel just like you do. And not all of them are old. The brain exploding repetition and the lack of any real substance in all the blather could make anyone weary. Maggie as much of the blather as possible. I do not have cable, I canceled the daily paper, mostly watch movies....but I live here in the midst of th endless cycle and recycle of sound bites....I am more than ready for this circus to end.

I may be too old for technology. I was trying to say: I avoid as much of the blather as possible. Dang " auto-finish."

Spot on! I'm so happy we have apple TV; we don't have to listen to all this drivel every time there's a commercial!

Well written. Thank you!!
I long for a debate of the actual issues.

Here in the Great White North we catch glimpses of the never ending train wreck of your election process and gasp in horror at the misogynistic, racist and hateful electioneering of the Trump wallah. Good for you Ronnie and to all my reasonable and intelligent USian friends who call out this appalling monster.
XO
WWW

You are not alone at all. Perhaps we all feel like that about this election. A true horror indeed.

PS: Hasn't the New Yorker any good cartoons about this election? Humor will help.

What wisewebwoman said.

Bernie not electable? But Trump maybe is??????

Bernie has done so well because he's a plain speaker; no wiggling around what he thinks, and none of it is coarse and hateful. If by some bizarre twist of fate, Trump wins the nomination it will be precisely because the 24 hour news cycle has brainwashed Mia's 'reptilian brain' sector.

Great analysis, Ronni. I am in complete agreement. I am politically partisan only because I feel compelled to be by the cataclysmic divide between the political parties. But I hate the endless politicking and long for the limitations that Canada and numerous European nations have established for such campaigns. I never watch news on TV, and rarely watch commercial TV of any kind, but even NPR, which is blessedly diverse in its programming, has too much campaign garbage and way too much Trump for me.

It was comforting to hear from you and other former journalists that it wasn't always like this. In my memory---not always reliable---these fanatical differences between parties didn't exist when I was young. After all, I was married to a Republican, something almost unthinkable in today's political environment. But back then, people just politely disagreed and voted quietly. They didn't have Fox News to encourage them to take up arms to support their opinion. And it's not a false memory that the 24 hour news cycle and a maniacally competitive media weren't factors in our lives. The good old days, indeed.

Walter Cronkite is gone along with all of the broadcast journalists, and most journalists in general. In broadcast media, the News is part of Entertainment and it's less about truth and facts and almost entirely about ratings. We get Trump for the same reason we get that family on E! and "Real Housewives of..." I can't even bring myself to blame them although I'd like to. The truth just doesn't sell. Bombast and sensationalism sell. We get "Pawn Stars" for History, and "Duck Dynasty" for Arts & Entertainment,
This too shall pass.

Great post, and exactly how I feel.

I can recall when I was young (child and teens) news was...well, JUST news. Most times it was somewhat boring, just the facts stated by a newscaster who did not get excited to the point of hyperventilating, like today.

What seems to be happening more and more is that I find people will argue with FACTS by producing "sources" that are either from bloggers and/or obvious opinion pieces. It's as if there are no facts anymore; everything is up for debate. And I blame that on the proliferation of 24-7 so-called "news channels." But instead being entertainment. Politics are by far the worst of this -- and yes, it causes me to become fatigued by the very LONG, almost endless, process.

Hello from Germany!

Believe it or not, I followed the Iowa caucus live on TYT Network online, staying up all night till 5 in the morning. I found it very exciting. My heart goes out to Bernie Sanders.

Why would I be interested?

Who will be the next POTUS is relevant and important to the whole world, not only to the US alone. Enough is enough, quoting Mr.Sanders, appears to be right on so many fields, not only wealth distribution, but also regarding messing up the Middle East and up to a certain extent, the whole world. There has to be an end to greed, corruption and lying in favor of the 1%, who owns half of the world already. Either we find a way to end it peacefully, or it all blows up in a dystopia.

Refugees are coming to Europe in growing numbers, especially to Germany at the moment and why do they come, because someone started a war in their homelands. Who was it and who profits from it? There seem to be no easy answers, but think about it, maybe it is very easy and they just do not want us to understand.

Corporate media is owned by the 1%, so they profit from confusing people, getting them distracted from the real underlying context and getting them exhausted.

Please do not walk away from being interested in politics, your decisions matter for all of us.

Greetings from good old Europe!

How can anyone possibly disagree when you say you're exhausted by a long, tiresome, exhausting campaign?


Okay, Freya, that's the only reason I can think of to pay attention to this hijacking of a serious business by the media.

This is a wonderful compilation of what everyone except the Trump supporters feel (Yes, I know some. She thinks he's a strong guy who is not afraid to say what he thinks - a real leader. We agreed to disagree over misogyny and racism and obvious untruths and dealt the next hand of canasta.)

It's an American crossroads, one I'm glad Bernie Sanders is dragging left. But Bernie is wrong on guns and that's a deal breaker for me. A woman in the White House is a legacy I'd like to leave for my granddaughter.

It's a choice between nothing I believe in and a woman with experience and no apparent moral compass.
a/b

Ashleigh, I also object the "hijacking of a serious business by the media" and I can fully understand everyone being tired and exhausted from it. When I lived in the US for one year, back in 1998, what I missed most was the german TV evening news. I just could not find anything comparably neutral, factbased, unhysterical, uninterrupted by commercial ads in the US media. It drove me crazy and like many of the other commentators on this blog, the only way to protect myself, was ignoring it. Unfortunately, I missed most of the background information about the Jugoslavia war, instead I learned a lot of very important world changing news about two people named Bill and Monica.(Irony off). I started using the internet back then to get some real news.

Main German TV news today (Tagesschau, Tagesthemen, Heute and Heute Journal) have not changed dramatically, formatwise, but people are starting to wonder, if we are being told the real news and all of it. So feeling properly informed, if at all possible, is getting harder and harder and time consuming. Moreover, I feel at odds to define who is a trustworthy source. I am no journalist, just an average person.

"Bernie is wrong on guns" - I do not know his position on guns good enough to make my mind up yet, but I can not start to tell you how glad I am, that we do not have unlimited and unconditioned access to guns over here. The situation would be so much worse now, with all the uncertainty and fear spreading, often fueled by the media and many politicians. I ask myself, cui bono? Who profits? And honestly, I have more questions than answers. Maybe in the end it is all about the moral compass.

I hope I did get your meaning right on the next paragraph:
"It's a choice between nothing I believe in"(Republicans?)
"and a woman with experience and no apparent moral compass."(HRC?)

" A woman in the White House is a legacy" I agree, but it better be a woman with the right believes and values, not any woman. I am just not feeling all comfortable about HRC. (Iraq, emails, GMS, her reaction over the death of Gaddhafi.....) Does experience matter, yes I believe so, but someone as long in politics as Mr. Sanders should know the house of cards game. Or not? And here we are, back at the moral compass again. But judging a persons moral compass is so much more complicated than judging actual decisions. And so we end up with who is to be trusted. Complicated again. On an abstract level, do we favor people we know are bought, as long as we believe they are bought for our own interests, or at minimum will decide foreseeable, over someone we can only hope to make the right decisions because he/she seems to have the "right" moral compass? Are we not complicated beings?

Will any republican candidate win the race? Hopefully not. Interestingly I saw polls showing Sanders to have better numbers against Trump or Cruz than Hillary. And Trump? What good is someone, being not afraid to say what he thinks, if what he thinks and says is mainly bullshit! (Sorry for the wording, but I had to use it!) To me and I may be totally wrong, he is an actor, playing politics, just because he can. I do not even believe he really wants to be the next president of the US. Just being a celebrity, playing on predjudices and the ugly parts of the human nature, testing out how far one can go today. But what if? I would be devastated.

No, I have trust in the american people overall and once the playing season is over, you as a people, will vote wisely when it is time to do so and until then the image of some lovely elder ladys agreeing to disagree and resuming their hand of canasta is very comforting to me.

Cheers and have a special joyful and happy day.

(I hope, I do not come over as harsh or critisising you or any commentator or the blog author, I respect your opinions.)


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