My first presidential election was in November 1968. Not coincidentally, that was the election that put Richard M. Nixon into his first term in the White House. Did I vote for Nixon? No, my ballot went to the Rev. Otto Schlumpf for President (write-in) and Dick Gregory for Vice President. Now, I can’t even find Schlumpf on the Internet, let alone Wikipedia. On the plus side, I now begin to appreciate some of Nixon’s accomplishments in office.
My political life has been bedeviled with Republicans from the very start. Could things get any worse? The answer is (as usual), yes! After I told all my friends that I would move to Canada is Ronald Reagan got elected President, he got in and stayed for two terms. What do I think of Reagan now? He has improved somewhat in my books; though I still think he was a very flawed President.
Could things get any worse? Yes, indeedy, after eight years of Clinton, we got the worst of them all—at least so far—George W. Bush. At the moment, I still can’t think of anything good to say about this man. Will I ever? I doubt it.
Could things get any worse? I’m afraid so. In 2016, we elect another President, and I have no idea at the present moment wither America’s vast psychoses will lead us. Will it be some Tea Party hack like Rand Paul or Ted Cruz? Or will we get another Obama-like respite until the next lunatic leader? (It seems that the lunatics get worse every ten or twenty years.)
The American voter is certainly no smarter than he or she was in 2000, 1980, 1960, or just about whenever. What troubles me most is that television has not only led to the dumbing-down of the American voter, but it has made all of us more susceptible to distorted electioneering tactics employed by big corporations and their political hirelings.
What is the likelihood that American voters will view attempts to influence their vote via TV with increasing skepticism? Not too good, I’m afraid.