Sunday, March 4, 2012

Giving Up Television Until After the Election

For years, I have watched very little television, but the few shows I do watch are now infected by campaign ads. Therefore, I have decided that, except for occasional weather updates during hurricane season,  I am not going to turn on my TV until election day -- if then. Thus, I will avoid all the horrible election commercials, which is a good thing because election ads do really bad things to my blood pressure.

People ask me if I watched the Republican debates. The answer is "no".  I haven't watched pre-primary debates of either party in several decades. I'm an independent (actually I'm kind of a contrarian populist, to be honest); I don't play in the primary game. I don't follow electioneering at all until very close to the conventions. I haven't watched a Republican speech all the way through since Nixon's resignation speech. I only watch Democrat speeches once it becomes clear who the candidate will be. At that point my decision boils down to whether or not to vote for either candidate.

Despite the fact that President Obama has not been the kind of leader I hoped he would be, if I do vote in the presidential election, I'll vote for him again.

Whether or not I actually cast a ballot in the presidential race will depend on how much political BS I can avoid between now and November. While I have on rare occasions voted for Republican candidates in the past, there is no way I'd vote for any of the Republican clowns that have been putting on such a freak-show throughout the primary season. I read about their antics in print articles which I can scan -- and skip inanities uttered by Michelle Bachman or Newt Gingrich. I do not watch video or listen to them speak.

So, I'm going to have a peaceful and serene election year. I will show up at the public library during the early voting period (probably very early in the game) and vote for Obama, or (if the Democrat party pisses me off too much) I'll skip that section and focus on state and local races.

When I was young and CNN was not invented yet (yes, My Pretties, there was a time when CNN did not exist; it was not such a bad time, because Fox did not exist either), I was a news junkie who approached every election as though it were the Super Bowl. I'd sit up all night with potato chips and Diet Coke and watch the returns.  Now, elections just make me sad, and sometimes sick. If the quality of candidates that have been running for office in recent years is the best this country can offer, then we are truly in big trouble.

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