Thursday, August 31, 2017

The Third Horse in the Sixth Race

I have been at the track betting on horse races a handful of times in my life. My methods on picking a winner are less than scientific ( being based on the name of the horse or whether it has lessened it's load just before entering the gate). I have little or nothing to go on, beyond my faith that somehow everything will work out well. Sadly, my record is pretty much abysmal. 
Yet  I suggest that we apply my method to our political races. What have we got to lose?
I say this, not in the heat of the moment, for now is the calm before the next storm. There are no advertisements, we are not inundated with information that even the most interested of us discard after awhile. The candidates have not memorized their talking points yet (one, most notable, never even feigned doing that), they have not begun the process of shaking hands, plastering a smile on their face, waking up in a Groundhog Day universe, begging for dollars and your approval.
We are a nation of non-voters. So many, for reasons of laziness, apathy, belief in interchangeable parts, disgust with what is viewed as a corrupt and morally bankrupt system, or just about anything else the mind can conjure, have no interest in taking the time or effort to pull a lever, hang a chad or do what is required to exercise their feet, their mind and their Constitutional right. Our largest percentage at every election, city, state and national, is for the clear winner - nada, rien, no one.
And the mid-term elections next year will produce a massive non-turnout. No matter how much the airwaves are filled, our computers are clogged, our mailboxes are stuffed.
For those of us who do participate in the process, I think I speak for us when I say I am absolutely and forever sick and tired of being bombarded with an endless supply of useless information. I dread the thought of the run up to the next presidential election. If it is not tomorrow, then it will be the day after that we hear rumblings of who, what, when, where and why. And when the floodgates open, they never close. We are drowning in drivel, inundated with idiocy, overwhelmed with oratorical overload.
We are told that many who do bother to decide democratic, republican or the third horse in the sixth race, don't turn on their brains until the announcer's lips are ready to announce "they're off'." All that came before, that hurt my ears, stung my eyes and turned my stomach is, to these folks, as but dust in the wind. They have been biding their time for they are smart enough to know that those like me have been ruminating about far too little for far too long.
And even for those most interested, interest turns to disgust and despair as the days turn into months, and each minute can seem an eternity. So why do we do this to ourselves?
Let us take a step back, a time out and reflect on what we really want, what we really need. I would suggest that we don't need debates, not one, as they are but talking points stuffed into whatever question is posed (most times it is virtually impossible to find an answer that is within a country mile of the inquiry), or opportunities to study the manner of dress, the tone of voice, the smile or frown, or even the bathroom habits of a candidate. And we take away nothing more than we decide fits our purpose.
Further, there should be no more speeches, no more campaign trail meet and greets, no more learning about the "real" person behind the mask.  This is an exercise in style, in ability to hide deficiencies, in form over substance. I don't want any more listening tours, no more getting to know me. If the candidate hasn't figured out who he is and who I am by now, I am not here as an educational tool.
Listen, what I think we really need is nothing. No debates, no speeches, no endless babble. No over-analysis, no understanding, zippo, goose-egg, zero.
If you and I actually intend to go to the polls, let the candidates line up on the day of the race, leaving the paddock a few minutes before the bell. Let us examine them, front and back, coming and going, see who has the most appealing gait, and who can dump the most you know what from his or her behind before taking off in full sprint towards the finish line.
It would save us endless aggravation, countless hours of our lives and give us a couple of minutes of good clean fun. And probably many more of us would bother to turn out.
Now that's picking a true winner.

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