I have been sitting at this desk writing 52 columns a year for almost 24 years and I have never missed a deadline. I probably will not miss my deadline this week, either, but I must admit that today’s effort is probably the most difficult I’ve ever faced.
No, it’s not for lack of content. That’s easy. It’s the timing that’s bothering me.
If you are reading this on the internet the day it’s posted, Election Day is tomorrow. If you are reading this in a printed newspaper, depending on which paper you are holding, election day is either three days from now or was two days ago. At this very moment, not knowing the outcome of this close race, I don’t know if I should be celebrating or crying.
Creating a neutral commentary is difficult (and a bit boring), but I’ll try.
The third presidential debate was held in Boca Raton at Lynn University. For the past month Floridians have noticed college age young men and women wearing T-shirts that read: LYNN UNIVERSITY – We never heard of you either!
I have followed every election for the past 60 years and I have never seen so much pre-election polling. On Monday morning six companies have him up while eight have him down. The ‘him’ I am referring to depends on what cable station you are watching. By Friday the numbers change and, of course, whoever you favor has you spending your weekend cheering or sobbing. Rasmussen says one thing while Gallup says another. My friends, there is only one poll that counts and that’s the one taken on Election Day.
I feel the same about the debates. The morning after a debate there are more debates in barber shops, bars, parks, and wherever people congregate. Many say HE won and many say HE lost. Again, the HE they argue about depends heavily on which side of the aisle you favor. Polls don’t vote. Debates don’t vote. People vote and every study tells us that voting is the most cherished American freedom. So why do so many of us stay home on Election Day?
The price tags on those months leading up to the day we vote grow and grow. I remember when the media announced that a particular campaign was several million dollars. It wasn’t long before we learned that particular campaigns grew to several HUNDRED million dollars. We’re now up using the word BILLION with a great big capitol B. The non-partisan Center for Responsive Politics puts the total of the 2008 presidential election at $2.4 billion. I wonder how much the 2012 total will be?
A USA Today survey asked “Has too much been spent on presidential campaigns?” 70-percent of America shouted YES!
“Should spending be limited or should candidates be able to spend whatever they can raise? 57-percent said ‘limited’.
Here’s where I differ. I’m a believer that candidates should raise a lot and spend it all. After all, where does that money go? Tons of big bucks that are being held by corporations, labor unions and wealthy people that are contributed to a favorite candidate are being spent on jobs. Yes, jobs. Take, for example, the fund-raising dinners. Printers are needed to print the invitations. Caterers hire waiters, busboys, cleaners, etc. Then look at how many people are needed to create a TV commercial. There are announcers, actors, cameramen, script writers, lighting people, sound people,
producers, editors…the list goes on and on. Think about the transportation of the candidates… the airline people, bus drivers, baggage handlers… the list is endless.
I am StanGershbein@Bellsouth.net asking, what’s wrong with putting dollars into circulation?
Stan Gershbein's column appears every Monday on BrooklynDaily.com.